By Peter Duru
The Chairman of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Alhaji Abdulkadir Kure, has said that the agency would re-introduce toll gates in the nation’s six geo-political zones to enable it generate funds that would aid it in maintaining roads across the country.
Fielding questions from newsmen in Makurdi, Kure noted that Nigerian roads have become death traps and immotorable because over 70 per cent of them were defective at the time of construction.
The former Niger State governor, who was on tour of federal roads in Benue State, lamented the frequent failure of the roads, adding that most of the 34,000 kilometres of federal roads in the country were not constructed with the precise materials resulting in their short life-span and outright failure.
He said, â€œThe people are getting worried because of the state of our roads, but the truth is that 70 per cent of the roads in the country at the time of their construction were defective, hence they easily fail.â€
He decried the pressure on the roads mainly by heavy duty trucks which ply the roads with excess luggage that contribute in wearing out them due to intense pressure.
The FERMA boss, however, intimated that the agency has been re-positioned to tackle the problems associated with bad roads in the country, adding that an entirely new approach has been adopted by the agency to ensure that motorists drive on good roads in all parts of the country.
He was also quick to state that lack of adequate funding has been a major challenge the agency has being facing since it started work, pointing out that the Federal Government has commenced action towards addressing the situation.
While paying a courtesy call on the Deputy Governor of Benue State Chief Steven Lawani who stood in for Governor Gabriel Suswam; Lawani had appealed to the FERMA chairman to look into the issue of bad roads in the state with a view to addressing the situation that had claimed several lives.
As part of his antennary, the FERMA boss toured the Naka-Ankpa, the Makurdi-Otukpo, the Gboko-Ihugh-Ogoja and the Gboko-Katsina- Ala Federal roads during the visit.