29 November 2020 By James Itodo
The National Assembly says the sum of N400billion is required on yearly basis for maintenance of the 35,000 kilometres Federal Roads in the Country to be motor able at all times.
It described the N38billion earmaked for that purpose in the 2021 budget proposal as extremely small for any serious road Maintenance work across the Country .
This is as the joint committees on Appropriation at both Chambers working round the clock for submission of harmonized report on the rejigged N13.08trillion 2021 budget proposals.
In an interview with newsmen in Abuja, the Chairman Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency ( FERMA) , Senator Gersome Bassey representing Cross River South said N400 billion is required for such projects yearly.
He said the N38billion earmaked for maintenance of over 35,000 kilometres Federal Roads across the country will not give Nigerians the desired results.
Road Maintenance he explained , in a Country like Nigeria where road transportation is mostly used for movement of people , goods and services could only be effectively carried out with roughly about N400billion on yearly basis
” What the committee has just submitted to the Appropriation committee for such exercise in 2021 fiscal year is the N38billion proposed for it by the executive which cannot cover up to one quarter of the entire length of deplorable roads in the Country.
“If the roads are well maintained on yearly basis , reconstruction and rehabilitation which require bigger amounts of monies and years to carry out , may not be necessary as frequently as they are now “, he said .
Being the last committee to submit its report to the Appropriation Committee the Chairman, Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Jibrin Barau said the next stage of work for the committee is to carry out the required scrutinization of the reports, harmonize it with the House of Representatives for submission at both Chambers on Thursday this week .