…wants FG to refund N2bn expended on roads
By Gbenga Ariyibi
In a bid to recover the huge resources the state government is investing on road construction, Ekiti State GovernmentÂ will soonÂ introduce toll fees onÂ heavy duty vehicles plying state-owned roads, even as it demanded the sum of N2 billion from the Federal Government which it expended on the construction of theÂ Ado EkitiÂ township roads.
This was disclosed by the state governor, Engr Segun Oni yesterday whileÂ playing host to members of the House of Representatives Committee on Works and Infrastructure in Ado-Ekiti, and described the condition of federal roads in the state as worrisome.
The governor who told the lawmakers that most of the motorists who ply Lagos-Abuja prefer to pass through the state, said the state government decided to collect toll from heavy duty vehicles so as to have a means ofÂ maintaining the road.
The governor, therefore, urged the Federal Ministry of Works to rehabilitate some key federal roads in the state so that his administrationâ€™s Road Revolution Programme would have the desired multiplier effects on the economy of the state.
He called on the Federal Ministry of Works to urgently reconstruct the Igede- Aramoko-Ilesa, the Ikere-Akure roads, as well as the Lokoja-Obajana- Kabba-Omuo road, adding that efforts by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to maintain the roads were grossly inadequate.
According to the governor, the poor state of the federal roads was hampering vehicular movement along the ever-busy Abuja-Lagos road thus making the movement of people, goods, services and farm produce difficult.
The governor said the state government was presently working on 800 kilometres of state roads many of whichÂ nearing completion.
The governor who laudedÂ the Federal Government for approving the construction of the Ifaki-Ikole-Omuo and the Efon-Erimo road projects, however, appealed to the Federal Government to reimburse the State Government with N2billion it expended on the Ado-Ifaki road project.
In his own response, the spokesman of the House of Representatives Committee on Works, Mr Chris Berewari commended the Oni administration for its giant strides in the area of road construction, adding that from his observations the quality of state roads was far better than that of Federal Roads in the State.
He pointed out that the Federal Government was committing a lot of resources to put in place a good road network in the country because roads form an important factor in the realisation of the seven-point agenda of the Federal Government.