By Uche Bibilari
Abuja – The Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has pledged its commitment to strengthen partnership with the Army to enhance security in the nation’s highways.
The Managing Director, FERMA, Mr Nuruddeen Rafindadi disclosed this when he received a team of Nigerian Army led by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Tukur Buratai on a visit.
Mrs Maryam Sanusi, the Deputy Director, Communication and Public Relations, FERMA, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, FERMA has always considered itself as part and parcel of Nigeria security as the road network across the nation is a framework of Nigeria security architecture.
“When I go out to seek for fund, I always try to make a point that funding of road maintenance in Nigeria should be given a priority that is given to security because roads are part of the security network.
“FERMA is one of the federal agencies that is on ground in every part of the country including the North-East even during the worst time of security challenges.
“FERMA is proud that in all its activities in the North-East the Army has given it a great support as there have not been any major incident even though we work under precarious condition”.
He said that special attention was given to the Military Theatre Operation Zone in 2018 to assist the Military carry out its operations effectively in the North-East.
He said such special attention include: the General Maintenance Repairs of Maiduguri – Damboa – Biu Road in Borno State, General Maintenance Repairs of Biu – Wuyo – Gombe State Border in Borno.
Also, Major Maintenance Repairs of Biu – Shaffa – Garkida Adamawa State Boarder Road in Borno State, Rehabilitation/Reconstruction of Maiduguri – Monguno – Baga Road, Borno.
Rehabilitation of Biu – Garkida Road (Ch0+000 – 1+000 Section I) in Borno State, Rehabilitation of Baga Mogo Park Abdu one Mohammed to Songhai Road Junction in Maiduguri, Borno State.
Rafindadi said that FERMA has also embarked on more road maintenance in 2019 that would support and enhance the operations of the Military, adding these works are at various stages.
He said that the Military recently called on FERMA to clear all vegetation on selected Federal routes nationwide and one of it, was the special Vegetation clearance on Abuja – Kaduna express road.
Rafindadi said that the clearance has yielded results by the several report received through the media on the arrest of kidnappers and bandits.
He thanked the Army in general and the Chief of Army Staff in particular for keeping Nigeria in safer state from 2015 till date.
Buratai said the visit was to appreciate the collaboration and assistance the Army has been getting from the agency.
He said the visit was for two reasons, which are to congratulate the MD on the giant stride the Agency has made in the maintenance of road.
Also, to solidify the partnership Army have with FERMA to link roads to rural areas where criminals take advantages to perpetrate their activities.
According to him, it will be easier for the Army to reach such places to provide security when the roads are passable.