Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Considering the deplorable conditions of federal roads in Ekiti State, Governor Biodun Oyebanji, has called on the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), to urgently designate the roads as emergency situation and fix them to avert carnages and reduce the burdens being faced by motorists.
Oyebanji made the plea when he interfaced with the Director General of FERMA, Nurudeen Rafindadi yesterday.
He said Ekiti people are eager to see the federal roads become motorable just as the Yuletide season approaches.
The Governor stated that Ekiti roads were among the best in the country until early this year when an unprecedented huge number of heavy trucks started plying the roads as alternative routes to Abuja, South-east and parts of the North.
He said the huge number of articulated vehicles caused untold damage to Ekiti roads, making it difficult to access the state.
Stressing the importance of good roads to safety and economic development, Governor Oyebanji urged the agency to priotise Ekiti roads, as the state is already cut out of other parts of the country.
“I urge you to classify Ekiti roads under “ emergency category”. “ We need access so that investors will come. Please come to our aid. As it is now, we are cut off,” the governor said.
Responding, the FEEMA boss, Rafindadi said the agency had no excuse for not fixing Ekiti roads in view of its economic advantage to the country as well as the fact it would constitute an embarrassment to the agency.
Although he cited finance as a major issue affecting its operation, he, however, said Ekiti roads would be accorded top priority so as to enhance safety and economic growth as demanded by the governor.
Rafindadi also suggested that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should start factoring road maintenance to its distribution cost, stressing that road has become the only medium of distribution of Petroleum product across the country with attendant stress on the roads.