By Abiemwense Moru
Abuja – The House of Representatives on Thursday urged Federal Government to declare state of emergency on dilapidated federal roads in the country and initiate measures to rehabilitate them.
The call was sequel to a motion by Rep. Segun Adekola (Ekiti-PDP) and Rep. Afe Olowookere (Ondo-APC).
Moving the motion, Adekola explained that the dilapidated state of most federal roads that linked all parts of the federation was causing concern to citizens.
He also expressed concern that budgetary allocations for rehabilitation and maintenance of the roads were usually less than 45 per cent, whereas road infrastructure deficit was estimated in 2015 at N2 trillion.
He added that “the absence of 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 and in the process, exerting immense toll on the road network.
“The zero budgeting system being implemented by Federal Government is affecting effective rehabilitation and construction of roads in the country, given that there is no alternative means of funding this critical sector.
“The house is concerned by the absence of public private partnership scheme and the failure of successive administrations to prioritize road construction and maintenance, such 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.’’
The lawmaker also expressed concern over the harrowing experiences commuters go through on the roads in form of accidents and attacks by hoodlums who rob and kill at will.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
The House, therefore, mandated its Committee on Works to ascertain the status of federal roads across the country, the contracts awarded for their rehabilitation, the budgeted sums and level
of execution from 2007 till date.
The committee is expected to report its findings within 12 weeks for further legislative action.