James Emejo in Abuja
The House of Representatives thursday passed a resolution urging the federal government to declare a state of emergency on the dilapidated federal roads in the country as well as initiate measures to rehabilitate them.
It further mandate its Committee on Works to ascertain the status of federal roads across the country, the contracts awarded for their rehabilitation, the budgeted sums and states of execution from 2007 till date, and report back in 12 weeks for further legislative action.
The resolve of the lower House was consequent upon a motion sponsored by Hon. Segun Alexander Adekola and Hon. Afe Olowookere on the need to declare a state of emergency on rehabilitation of federal roads across the country.
They noted that the dilapidated state of most federal roads that link all parts of the federation, is a situation that is causing concern to the citizens.
The lawmakers said that budgetary allocations for rehabilitation/maintenance of the roads are usually less than 45 per cent, whereas road infrastructure deficit was estimated in 2015 at N2 trillion.
Aware that the absence of a railway system covering the length of the country makes road transportation the most widely available means of movement from one part of the country to another, in the process, exacting immense toll on the road network.
The lawmakers said the zero budgeting system being implemented by the federal government was hampering effective rehabilitation and construction of roads in the country given that there is no alternative means of funding for this critical sector.
The House expressed concern that the absence of public private partnership scheme and the failure of successive administrations to prioritise road construction and maintenance including that practically all Federal roads like Owo-Ikare-Kabba, Ikare-Omuo-Kabba, Ipele-Kabba, Isua-Ibilo-Okene, Okene-Obajana, Abuja-Lokoja-Okene, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Okigwe-Umuahia, Enugu-Awka-Onitsha among others are at various states of disrepair;
It further expressed concern over the harrowing experiences commuters are having on the roads in form of accidents and attacks by hoodlums who rob and kill at will on the roads.