By Chris Ochayi
Members of the House of Representatives have called on the Federal Government to draw down considerable amount of money from its foreign reserve to fund road projects to reduce unnecessary loss of lives and property to accidents as a result of deteriorating state of highways.
House of Representatives Sub-Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, which made the call while inspecting some ongoing federal road projects being executed by the agency in Edo and Ondo states respectively, regretted the failing state of major highways in the country.
The committee, which remarked that most highways had outlived their lifespan, expressed concern over the unprecedented traffic congestion on the notorious Abuja-Lokoja road.
Chairman of the Sub-Committee, Aniedi King, who led other members of the committee on their oversight function, however, called on the Federal Ministry of Works to prevail on the contractors handling the Abuja-Lokoja road dualisation project to increase the pace of work on the road.
Warning on the imminent collapse of federal highways, King said the Federal Government needed to spend more money on the roads. He added: “we need the kind of intervention fund that has been given to power, aviation and banking sectors.”
He noted that though road construction and maintenance were an expensive project, provision of good roads would facilitate economic development and enhance movement of people, goods and services from one point to the other.