The Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Senator Gershom Bassey, has said the Ministry of Works and FERMA need financial autonomy to fulfil its constitutional mandate.
Bassey said this while addressing the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN and officials of the road maintenance agency during a budget defence session at the National Assembly
He advised that for effective delivery and efficiency of allocating funds, the Executive should think around ways to channel funds to FERMA directly.
Bassey further noted that the Ministry of Works can continue with its supervisory role of monitoring activities of FERMA, but the Ministry and FERMA can have two seperate budgets for efficiency.
He said, “I think that some level of budgetary or financial autonomy is needed that would help both the ministry of works and FERMA itself to fulfil its constitutional mandate.
“So I would suggest some degree of budgetary envelope for FERMA instead of having it routed through the ministry of works who have enough responsibility themselves.
“We also want to know we can help your ministry and FERMA to be more efficient. We only want to remove the budgetary envelope and not the supervisory responsibilities of the agency.
“We want you to provide information on the two issues and send your responses to us”, he added
Reacting to the roles played by committees set up by the senate, he said “The senate has every power to establish committees, the senate in its wisdom has established various committee in various areas.”