The Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) says it has identified no fewer than ten critically damaged federal roads for urgent intervention in each state of the federation.
The Acting Managing Director, Mr Nuruddeen Rafindadi disclosed this on Friday Abuja at his maiden media briefing since assumption of office in October.
Rafindadi said that the agency was mandated to maintain and repair federal roads to ensure that the roads last long, adding that in an ideal situation, the agency tries to prevent damages on the roads.
“Arising from all these, we compiled what we call a maintenance or repair work plan for the next nine months.
“This include quick intervention programme which is targeted at doing what we can within that period depending on fund availability.
He said that since his assumption of office, the agency has been able to review procurement plan and status, set up monitoring teams that would access works done and verify financial status of projects.
Others are taking inventory of the entire agency’s asset, machineries, partnering with the media to educate the masses on the proper use of the roads.
“One of our major challenges is the attitude of Nigerian toward road usage; we need the media to assist in disseminating of information on the proper use of the roads and getting feedback from them to the agency,” he said.
He listed some of the challenges faced by the agency to include indiscriminate cutting of the roads, vandalism of road infrastructure and burning of tyres.
He explained further that other areas include educating the public on the use and misuse of the roads, defacing of signboards, and indiscriminate parking of articulated vehicles on the roads.
He said that many roads in the country were constructed 20 to 30 years ago and the structures which needed reconstruction currently was not part of the agency’s scope of work.
“We are also working on a five-years strategic plan to increase our in-house capacity-building to repair the roads ourselves and not necessarily giving them out to contractors and we will ensure we assess the performance of our staff,’’ he explained.
He explained that so far the agency has about 380 to 400 bad spots that had been identified and documented for repair.
“It is not about taking a 100 kilometer road and repairing it but identifying a very bad spot and repairing it’’, he added.
On funding of the agency’s projects, he said that its main concern was to get adequate and timely release of funds to carry out road maintenance.
“ If funds are not released to cover the maintenance of a particular bad spot on the road and the roads are repaired half way, it costs more to complete it because of some unforeseen factors.
“We have started some works; we prioritise road maintenance according to how bad the roads are and the availability of funds.
“We do not receive funding from states on road repairs done in any state,’’ Rafindadi said.