By Kingsley Adegboye
Determined to find a lasting solution to the problems encountered by commuters and motorists who ply the Sagamu/Ore expressway, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency FERMA, has put in place programmes that would ensure continuous monitoring of the ever-busy expressway and other Federal roads in the country, with a view to identifying the bad spots and fixing them immediately.
Managing Director of FERMA, Gabriel Amuchi disclosed this last week while on an inspection of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Sagamu/Ore expressway.
Blaming the failure of most federal roads on abuses they are constantly subjected to, Amuchi disclosed that federal roads are confronted with various challenges which the agency over the years has been taking pro-active measures in addressing by identifying and fixing the bad spots across the major roads. He added that this is done to save the lives of those plying the roads and to enhance the economic development of the nation.
Amuchi who pointed out that, at inception, the agency inherited federal roads that were constructed in the 70’s after the civil war and during the oil boom with life spam of about 20 to 25 years, explained that due to poor maintenance culture and exposure to abuses such as spilling of petroleum products like diesel, petrol, engine oil, kerosene and others, had led to the collapse of the roads.
He noted that immediately after the establishment of FERMA in 2004 as an agency saddled with the mandate of maintaining and fixing of bad spots in all federal roads, it has been battling with the responsibility of recovering, maintaining and retaining these roads through retainancy programme.
According to him, “we are trying to open a new link with the public on how to get closer to them and inculcate maintenance culture in them and also get information from them where there is bad spot on federal roads and where there is abuse. Working with the public would collectively contribute to our efforts in recovering our roads in various ways.
This is national responsibility that all of us must rise to and ensure that with the federal government transformation agenda, we all get involved to ensure that our roads are fixed for Nigerians that are using them”.
Speaking on various ways in which federal road are being abused, Amuchi said blockage of side drains and drainage channels were major obstacles which made it difficult for drainage channels to ensure free flow and collection of surface water away from the road to prevent infiltration of water into the pavement structures and foundations, thus preventing its failure.
He maintained that the most of major roads in the country have their drains and outlet channels but have been turned into refuse dumps, some overgrown with weeds and completely silted due to lack of maintenance which leads to the accumulation of water on the carriageway and subsequent infiltration into the road pavement with the consequence of road failure being witnessed in many roads across the country.