Prepares list of roads for sub-contracts
By Favour Nnabugwu
IN SPITE of the poor road directions across country, the federal government has revealed that Nigeria’s roads are far better than what some other countries in the world can boast of as road infrastructure. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, made this disclosure at the just concluded 23rd National Council of Works meeting in Abuja, pointing out that the country can no longer depend solely on road maps which do not cover notable places in the country.
Fashola who said he had visited some countries in the world and observed that the quality of materials laid on Nigeria’ roads are far better that what they have over there, added that “While our ongoing road projects across the nation are still in various stages of completion, our economic needs have compelled us to refuse to wait until everything is done before we begin to confer the benefits of lane marking and street signage on our people.
“Regardless of the economic situation of the country, the Ministry has refused to wait for funds before commencing on marking of roads, installation of street signs for Nigerians who want to see good road. We have met in the Ministry and agreed to compile the list of roads where significant sections have been completed, and prepare them for procurement and award of sub-contracts in collaboration with our main contracts, and this procurement will then be advertised as required by law and subject to an open and competitive bid”, Fashola noted.
Speaking on the importance of road signage, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Muhammad Bello, said road signs are particularly important in the FCT due to the increasing number of vehicles plying its roads on a daily basis.
Bello who stated that the Works’ meeting was key to the Capital Territory, added that the outcome of the deliberations would provide the much needed input for policy making to address the problem of inadequate and poor road signage on some of the Capital’s highways.
Represented by the Executive Secretary of FCDA, Eugene Jubrin, an engineer, the minister said “I urge you all to bear in mind that your decisions will have far reaching impact on this administration’s efforts at ensuring improved safety and comfort on our highways, which is demonstrated by the huge budgeting provision to the Works sector by the administration in the last two years.” Director, Highway Planning and Development, Chukwinike Uzo, an engineer, said the theme of this year’s meeting addressed the need to ensure safety on the country’s roads.
According to him, “The meeting of the National Council on Works provides a forum in which stakeholders in the Works sector will deliberate concerning the road sector with a view to coming up with the decisions on how to solve problems associated with the construction and maintenance of highways/roads in Nigeria”, Uzo said.
Mr. Kayode Olagunju, Assistant Corps Marshal, Policy, Research and Statistics, said that it is at the Ministry’s Council meeting that decisions on roads are taken in partnership with the FRSC, pointing out that the FRSC produces standard road details in line with the 1968 convention which are meant to give direction to road users across the country
“Those signs are meant to inform, they are meant to direct, they are also useful in guiding officers who work. If there are dangers ahead the road signs will tell you for example, a sign to let you know that there a narrow bridge or bend ahead, so that before you get there, you are already aware of it, and you will know how to slow down to avoid danger”, Olagunju said.