Road reform bill: Senate decries poor road maintenance culture

Chairman Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) Babangida Hussaini has decried the poor maintenance culture in the country, saying the development is taking its toll on the country’s economy.

This is as the Nigerian Institutions of Highway and Transportation Engineers(NIHTE), appealed on the 10th National Assembly to facilitate the Presidential assent to the Road Sector Reform Bills.

Hussaini, who represents Jigawa North West in the National Assembly, spoke Tuesday evening when he received a delegation led by the National Chairman, NIHTE, Engr. Saidu Hassan, at the National Assembly in Abuja.

While calling for a synergy between the National Assembly and NIHTE to address bad road roads in the country, he said the previous FERMA budgets lacked a feasible maintenance cost structure.

He said: “You see the issue of roads and maintenance in general is a national problem which we kind of treat with levity. I said this because we don’t even understand what maintenance is. Talk to any Nigerian on the street or even the supposedly informed ones and they tell you, Nigeria, we don’t have a maintenance culture. This is not true, maintenance is not a culture, maintenance is an economy.

“The day we accept that maintenance is an economy, that is the day we will take maintenance to drive our national economy. Take for instance, when you have a failed light bulb here, it represents food on the table for that electrician who is hanging outside, It presents the market and profit or loss for that electrician whom my brother from the southeast raised money to go to India or China to go and import that item, it represents profit or loss for him.

“If you take the multiplier effect of replacing that bulb, you will be shocked to see the number of people who feed on this one single item of work. Take the FERMA budget, you will find items of procurement.

Earlier, the National Chairman, Engr. Saidu Hassan had said: ” In 2012 a Road Sector Reform Committee was constituted by the Ministry of Works and the committee produced Road Sector Reform Bills that have been passed by the 8th and 9th National Assembly.