Africa-Press – Nigeria. The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, Hon. Femi Bamisile has urged the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, introduce weighbridges across Nigeria.
The development became imperative following the continued destruction of Nigerian roads by heavy and articulated vehicles plying the roads with excess loads as against the recommended ones which the roads were originally designed for.
The federal lawmaker who represents Ekiti South Federal Constituency II made the remark while featuring on a radio programme on Fresh FM 106.9 in Ado Ekiti.
According to him, the deplorable condition of roads across Nigeria and especially Ekiti State, is unfortunate, appalling, and regrettable, hence the need for necessary actions to prevent further damage of roads across the country.
“Introduction of weighbridges will ensure strict adherence of truck and other articulated lorry drivers to all rules and regulations guiding loading procedure. The move is also to discourage such drivers from engaging in excess or overloading, which in turn affects the durability of the roads and vehicles.
“Weighbridge technique which must be backed with a good legislation will make erring Drivers or Defaulters to be liable to fine which will also serve as another source of revenue for the government to repair damaged roads,” he said.
The former Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, explained that, though many roads needed urgent attention in Nigeria, fund crunch or economic doldrums across the world has made it difficult for the government to respond.
He added that the government had struggled to meet its responsibilities due to a lack of funds occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic which affected the global economy.
Bamisile noted that his Committee has been up and doing in its over-sight functions, especially at ensuring all Nigerian roads are motorable, but the bureaucratic challenge at awarding contracts by the federal government has been hindering the work of the agency.
“For instance, to fix some bad portions on Ado-Aramoko-Ekiti- Efon Alaaye Roads requires over N2 billion, but the approving limit of the Managing Director of FERMA is about N250million. Therefore, to fix such road, a proposal must be submitted to the Federal Ministry of Works for presentation at the Federal Executive Council meeting for deliberation and subsequent approval.
“Though, there are contractors who also create hardship for Nigerians through sub-standard jobs, hence the need for thorough scrutiny of all intending contractors before the award of contracts,” he said.