Abeni Aso-Oke

Works Ministry, FERMA’s negligence, bane of Nigeria’s road infrastructure woes. By Lai Gidado

Works Ministry, FERMA’s negligence, bane of Nigeria’s road infrastructure woes

Abeni Aso-Oke

Abeni Aso-Oke

Each time I drive from either Benin to Lagos or Akure-Ore to Lagos and see the deplorable conditions of the roads, I keep wondering why the Toll Gates were removed.

In the days of yore, the toll gate environment was another commercial ground for the locals to make money and a point of rest for travelers.

Abeni Aso-Oke

The government would employ some people to man the Toll Gates, and I believe that revenues generated from the toll gates, especially along the Lagos-Benin axis, were huge enough to keep the road in good shape through regular maintenance.

For no serious reason, the multi-million-dollar Toll Gates were pulled down.

Traveling from Benin to Lagos is another proof that we don’t have leaders in Nigeria, or maybe I should say we have leaders who don’t care about us, the followers.

A leader should endeavour to once in a while, mingle with the people he represents, and feel what the followers feel.

How would anyone explain that the journey from Benin to Lagos, which used to take three hours, now takes between 5 and 7 hours and even more during the rainy season?

Our Senators and House of Representatives members fly from Abuja to their respective state capitals regularly and never cared about happenings in their constituency levels until the next election campaign time when they would go home to sweet-talk their innocent poor constituents.

From Oluku Junction to Ore, you must pray that Almighty Allah does not allow heavy downpour until you get to Ore. After Ore, you need another round of prayer to God, to take you safely to Shagamu Interchange, and from the Redeemed Christian Church of God, you must call on God to take you over the Kara long Bridge to Berger, otherwise, you might spend 9 hours on the road.

If eventually rain catches up with you in some parts of Lagos, you may not get home that day.

All these are happening as a result of bad planning by the road contractors.
The Ministry of Works and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA are just by name, their impact is not being felt at all.

In the olden days, the Ministry of Works had staff across the federation whose duties were to ensure bushes along the highway were cleared regularly. But now, the middle of the dual carriage lane from Ore to Lagos remains a big eyesore.

Those coming from Benin cannot see those on the other lane coming from Lagos. Is there no one in the road maintenance unit of the Federal Ministry of Works?

On the 4th of June, on my way to Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos from Ore to Sagamu, the journey was smooth. Shortly after Ijebu Ode, I spent 3 hours on the road because of flood that covered the road. A lot of vehicles got damaged, and there was a heavy gridlock. I later learned many vehicle owners slept on the road.

Thank God for Governor Dapo Abiodun’s intervention for the rescue of those kidnapped along the road that time.

In conclusion, If our representatives ply the roads like common men and see what we experience on the roads on daily basis, if our Senators ply the roads and see how people are being kidnapped at the failed portions or how armed robbers use those forests in the middle of the roads as a cover-up for their nefarious activities, I am sure things would change for the better.

The Minister of Works and his Finance counterpart should endeavour to inspect various ongoing road projects with a view to ensuring that the roads are given adequate drainage system and wide walkways before payment are made to the contractors.

The Director of FERMA and the Minister of Works should set up road inspection units that would ascertain, that all our roads are cleared and cleaned regularly.

If it is a monetary problem, let’s bring back the Toll Gates and be prudent with funds realized for the purpose of keeping the roads in good shapes at all times, especially during the rainy season.

Spread the love

Check Also

From Colonial chains to sustainable gains: Redefining empowerment in Nigeria, Africa. By Lai Gidado

From Colonial chains to sustainable gains: Redefining empowerment in Nigeria, Africa The white man came …

Abeni Aso-Oke

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *