Obillor Grace Cliff, Abia state
The question that goes through my mind daily as I journey through most South Eastern Roads is why has the Federal Government not done like they promised?
South East of Nigeria is one of the geographical areas in the country; this region consists of Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo states. Having gone through some of these places during the festive period, I found out that some of these federal roads are still bad.
Even after the festive period, the roads were still left untouched, there by putting the road users at risk.
In a statement made to THISDAY Newspaper on the 27th of November 2019, I quote “the federal government set aside #36.565,012,899.66 for rehabilitation of 123 roads across the 36 states of the Federation under it’s post rainy season. According to the breakdown in the report given to THISDAY by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), out of 123 roads, the Southeast has a total of 14 roads with #3,889,851,676.22 allocation.
According to the report by THISDAY, this decision was taken after the Nigerian Association of Road Transport owners raised alarm over the bad condition of the federal roads in the country.
THISDAY went ahead to report that the minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola in the presence of the Representatives of FERMA, federal controllers of works from the states in attendance, The FRSC Corps Marshal and the government contractors directed the contractors handling the various roads to remobilise the sites for special works, promising that they would receive payment before the end of 2019.
The Minister went ahead to say that the meeting with the major stakeholders was aimed at building synergy amongst them”. Just like I asked initially, is FG rehabilitating South East federal roads like they promised?Because having gone through places like Aba-Ikot Ekpene road, Opobo Azumini road, Bende-Ohafia road, Umuahia-Ikwuano road, Aba-Port-Harcourt road, Umuahia-Ikot Epene, the roads are still bad and unaccessible.
In my chat with the road users along Aba-Port-Harcourt Road, they are not happy about the condition of these roads, stating that it has endangered so many lives. Motorists complained bitterly about how their cars are always at the mechanic due to the effects of bad condition of the road on them.
Speaking with the passengers, they narrated how the transportation fare increases regularly as a result of the bad roads, they always pay more than the usual amount. Hearing from all these people, I plead with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and The Federal Road Maintenance Agency to look into the rehabilitation of South East Federal Roads just like they promised, so as to reduce the dangers on the road.