By gift ChapiOdekina, Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has pledged revive the agency to meet address challenges of Nigerians.
The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Aderemi Oseni made the pledge on Thursday at an interactive session with the management of FERMA in Abuja.
He said that the state of roads in the country has reached a deplorable state, resulting in untold hardship for Nigerians, hampering economic growth, and tarnishing the nation’s image.
According to him, the image of FERMA in the eyes of the public is one of inefficiency, corruption, and ineptitude.
The lawmaker said that the aim of the committee is to rejuvenate, reposition, and redefine the agency in order to effectively fulfill its mandate.
“This is a reality we cannot ignore and thus a perception that must be changed, and it is our duty as representatives of the people to take decisive actions to address this issue and ensure that FERMA becomes a beacon of hope for Nigerians.
“Our responsibility as the house committee on FERMA is to uphold this principle by working tirelessly to improve the state of our roads, ensuring the safety and convenience of our citizens.
“Let me state unequivocally that the 10th National Assembly will not accept business as usual in FERMA.
“The days of huge budgetary allocations with little or no impact on road maintenance are over; we are here to ensure that every naira spent by FERMA delivers tangible results for the Nigerian people.
“As supervisory committee, it is our solemn duty to ensure that FERMA operates at the highest standard, achieves tangible results, and serves the Nigerian people effectively.
“We will demand performance, value for money, accountability, transparency, and professionalism from FERMA, and this House Committee will not hesitate to utilize the full instruments of the law to sanction any misdeeds that come to our attention,” he said.
He said that challenges such as inadequate funding, outdated equipment, a lack of capacity, manpower shortages etc.will be addressed through proper legislative intervention to find lasting solutions.
In his remarks, the Managing Director, of FERMA, Mr Chukwuemeka Agbasi said that the agency has a challenge of inadequate funding.
“Funding is an issue, the current estimate of our funding need is about N300 billion but we have never had that type of money and it is an issue.
“We are looking at other sources of funding in the work that FERMA engages in outside the budgetary provisions that is provided by government,” he said.
Agbasi said that in 2015, the sine of N1.29 billion was allocated to the agency and in 2016, N40.19 billion was allocated.
According to him, in 2017, the sum of N41.88 billion was allocated while in 2018, the sum of N46.88 billion was allocated for the agency.
He said that in 2019, N41.35 billion was allocated and in 2020, the sum of N53.31 billion was allocated while in 2021, the sum of N63.07 billion was allocated.
The managing director said that in 2022, a total of N171.67 billion and in 2023, N64.81 was allocated of the agency’s operations.
Agbasi told the committee that the agency had liabilities yet to be paid to contractors since 2015 to 2021.
He said that the agency is owing N19.13 million for 2015, N19.95 million for 2016, N15.78 million for 2017, N30.04 million for 2018, N11.42 million for 2019, N10.11 million for 2020 and N11.09 million for 2021.