Tinubu reads riot act to FERMA, directs review of activities

The Minister of Works, Sen. Dave Umahi, Thursday, disclosed that the President, Bola Tinubu has read a riot act to the newly constituted board members of the Federal Road Maintenance Authority (FERMA) on how to improve the condition of the Nigerian roads.

He said the president would not hesitate to relieve them of their appointment over poor performance.

The minister,  who spoke shortly after he inaugurated the Board of FERMA in Abuja, said the president had also directed the review of the agency’s activities to improve the state of roads in the country.

“First, let me congratulate all the eight nominees of the president for the FERMA board and express my deepest gratitude to Mr president who has found you worthy to do this job. We have a very critical situation with our roads all over the country and for me, the number one thing Nigerians need is durable roads.

“Road is everything and if we fix our roads today, we will bring down inflation in this country because bad roads affect every aspect of our economic activities. Is it transportation of petroleum products, agricultural produce, trade, or movement of tourism?

“A rich man can send his children to private schools or hospitals but we can never have private roads in this country. So this is a common denominator for every one of us.

“And I want to thank the president for approving the supplementary budget which has helped us to fix roads damaged by the last flood. From today, contractors that bidded for that process will start to receive their award letters and many will be going to the site as soon they receive their award letters.

“This underscores the fact that Mr president understands the plight of our people as far as road infrastructure is concerned. He is doing everything within the budget and outside to fix our roads and I want to assure Nigerians that our roads will be fixed within the next two years, we will see very serious tremendous transformation on most of our roads.

“For FERMA, the president has directed a review of your activities. This review is to give authority to some of the directors that represent the zones, what we have today on our roads are boreholes and they develop from pinholes because no one takes care of them.

“Contractors have not done excellently well in terms of construction methods but we are checking that now and make people more responsive to their duties.

“The story of FERMA is not very sweet and we will not blame you but we are going to do things differently. there is no improvement on our roads without passion. the day we become patriotic and begin to take public things as if they were our own then you are a patriotic Nigerian and that is what am charging you, people.

“If you are staying in Abuja, it may be that you are coming for monthly meetings but you must go around every section of your zone, open platforms, and do weekly meetings with your zonal workers. we have a situation where people look for an appointment but they don’t do the work.

“Of course, Mr president will not hesitate to remove any of you that would witness the kind of things we are witnessing now. Where people are staying on the road for seven or ten days, why will the price of goods not escalate? So, I charge you on behalf of Mr. President just to show love for our people. Show commitment to our people,” he said.

Responding on behalf of the new board members, the Managing Director of FERMA, Engr. Chukwuemeka Chijioke Agbasi, thanked the President for finding them worthy of the appointment and expressed the commitment of the agency towards making a visible difference in the road condition and the travel experience of commuters in the country.