By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA——THE Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, has said over 60 per cent of the federal roads in the country are in deplorable conditions and called on the government to consider public private partnership, PPP, arrangement, concessioning of the roads or the re-introduction of toll gates to put the roads in good shape.
President of NARTO, Kassim Bataiya, who spoke at the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the association in Abuja, advised the relevant National Assembly Committees to ensure that their oversight functions, especially on roads and refineries in the country, were done effectively.
According to him, between 55 per cent and 60 per cent of our roads are in serious state of disrepair, saying,” government should find a way of funding the construction, repairs and maintenance of the road for quick economic growth.”
Bataiya called on Ministers of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi andMinister of State for Petroleum Resources,
Ibe Kachikwu, to address the problem of infrastructure development in the country, especially in the areas of roads, railways, pipelines and refineries.
NARTO also urged the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, to hit the ground running and face the problems confronting the sector
“The ministers must set to work immediately and resolve the issues of bad roads across the country, fix the rail system and tackle the ineffective power situation,” he stated.
He also reminded government on the need to immediately repair some major roads across the country as he said that the situation of the roads was affecting timely delivery of passengers, goods and services to designated areas.
“While we are waiting for the new government to settle down, our members continued to offer best services under the prevailing condition and the roads are becoming more deteriorated as accidents are being reported daily, vehicles getting knocked down due to wear and tear all to the disadvantage of our members as well as the national economy.
“As responsible organisations, we cannot sit and fold our arms watch these roads impact negatively on our hard earned investment. The complete state of disrepair of the roads have constituted and still constituting serious hazards to our drivers and vehicles. Little wonder therefore, that are witness frequently loss of driver’s lives and properties, vehicle breakdown and accidents on these roads on daily basis,” he stated.