By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – The Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), has identified 353 critical roads across the country for urgent attention so as to make road users comfortable throughout the Yuletide period and beyond.
Its Managing Director, Alhaji Nurudeen Rafindadi stated this when he briefed State House correspondents on the activities of the agency in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has since directed the agency to ensure that roads across the country are smooth, safe and comfortable for users especially during the end of year festivities.
To this end, he said the agency had identified the 353 critical roads that needed FERMA’s urgent attention.
He said: “Consequent on the federal government and the Ministry of Works directives that roads which are mostly used by commuters during the festive season should be made motorable and comfortable in order to ensure safe passage and avoid the usually occurring perennial traffic gridlocks.
“There has been a series of coordination between the ministry, the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
“This coordination has been going on at least for the last five weeks. In addition to the major construction works that are being done by the ministry of works, the agency has identified a total of about 353 critical roads that need palliative measures specifically during this period.
“The bulk of this work has been allocated between the department of construction rehabilitation of the ministry of works and FERMA.
“In order to realize this goal, the agency which has been assigned 16 very critical and prominent roads that need to be addressed immediately within the period.’’
He revealed that the agency had put in place an implementation plan for the maintenance and repair of the identified federal roads as well as other roads being frequently used by motorists especially during festivities.
The FERMA boss said the agency had since swung into action in line with government’s directive.
He further disclosed that efforts had been made towards deployment of resources and personnel for the repair of the roads assigned to FERMA.
Rafindadi stated that some of the agency’s field officers had been engaging workers for direct labour while those roads identified and agreed with the ministry were designated into two priorities.
He said that a lot of the works were concentrated around 16 major routes identified as priority one.
According to him, these include: Oyo-Ibadan road in Ogun State, Minna-Tegina road in Niger State, Sheda -Abaji road on the FCT/Kogi State, Abaji-Kotonkarfe road in Kogi State and Itakpe -Federal College of Education Road around Okene in Kogi State.
He said others were the Agbo-Asaba road in Delta State, sections along Benin -Warri road in Delta State, Lokoja-Ajaokuta road in Kogi State, Itobe-Ayangba-Ankpa -Otukpa road in Kogi State, Uyo-James town road in Akwa Ibom State, Ogoja -Katsina Ala road in Cross River.
He added that the Biu – Damaturu – Mauduguri road in Yobe and Borno State, Bauchi – Jos – Akwanga roads in Plateau and Nasarawa States, Bauchi -Potiskum road in Bauchi and Yobe State; Katsina – Jibia road in Katsina State were also in the priority one category.
Rafindadi said FERMA’S implementation plan for the execution of its mandate are in two parts; namely palliative repair on identified road sections and to intensify and expand all ongoing direct labour specifically along the major arterial roads with isolated potholes.(NAN)