Road Repairs: Obasanjo’s Regime Spent N500bn in Eight Years

No Comments » February 5th, 2008 posted by // Categories: Nigeriawatch



Road repairs: Obasanjo’s regime spent N500bn in eight years


By Chiawo Nwankwo and Oscarline Onwuemenyi

Tuesday, 5 Feb 2008

The Federal Roads Maintenance Agency under former President Olusegun Obasanjo spent N500bn in eight years to re-fix roads across the country.

Even at that, most roads in the country are in a deplorable state and FERMA requires N70bn annually for five years to rehabilitate the roads.

“The sum of N70bn will be needed for the periodic overlay, strengthening and enhancement of a network of about 3,500 kilometres of roads,” the Managing Director of FERMA, Mr. Olubumi Peters, told journalists in Abuja on Monday, adding that 35 per cent of the country’s 34,100 kilometres of roads had collapsed completely and required urgent rehabilitation.

He said 30 per cent of the roads were in poor state, while 20 per cent were in fair condition. Only 15 per cent of the nation’s road network, he added, is in good condition.

He said the statistics posed a great challenge to all stakeholders, as increased funding was imperative in order to change the status quo.

A FERMA document on medium term strategy plan on road maintenance showed that a total of 234,106 people were killed in road accidents in the country in the last 29 years

The period covered by the report is from 1978 to 2006, with the highest figure of 11,382 deaths recorded in 1982.

According to the document, 1992 and 2001 were the most fatal years with 6,986 and 6,966 cases respectively, just as 4,944 died in road mishaps in 2006.

Peters stressed that it was difficult for government alone to provide the huge funds required for roads maintenance in the country.

He said, “In another five years or so, even some of these recently rehabilitated roads would have fully utilised their useful life span.

Meanwhile, the poor state of road infrastructure in the country has added to the cost of operating vehicles as Nigerians are reported to spend over N487bn annually to keep their vehicles on the road.

According to a document obtained from the FERMA in Abuja, small car owners in the country spend a total of N219,500 for every 10, 000 kilometres of road used.

Peters said, “The cost of operating vehicles in the country is perhaps one of the highest in the world, and this is mainly due to the kind of roads we have.

“The overall condition of the road network is that of general disrepair. There is therefore an urgent need to pursue a conscientious programme for the recovery of lost ground.”


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