When Nigeria’s Senate beamed searlight on poor road infrastructure 

The Senate in plenary last week Wednesday, focused its legislative attention on poor road infrastructure and menace of gully erosion in Nigeria which led to adoption of far reaching resolutions. TAIYE ODEWALE reports

Road infrastructure in Nigeria 

Nigeria being a federation, has its roads  categorised into three different segments,  which are Trunk A, Trunk B and Trunk C Roads 

The Trunk A roads which are about 36,000 kilometers across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT, Abuja), are commonly known and called  Federal Roads while the two other categories of roads being under the purviews  of state and local governments, are  called Trunk B or Trunk C roads.

Deplorable conditions of the roads 

Across the three categories of road infrastructure in the country, due to increased vehicular movements on them and lack of regular maintenance by government at the various levels, most of the roads are in deplorable condition with attendant hellish usage by motorists and pedestrians , particularly the Trunk A roads controlled and maintained by the federal government.

Senate’s intervention 

As a way of drawing attention of the Federal Government to the bad road infrastructure for urgent repairs, the Senate through a motion sponsored by its Deputy President, Jibrin Barau and co – sponsored by 106 other serving Senators, adopted far reaching resolutions one of which was setting up of an Ad- hoc committee to come up with a compendium of all the affected federal roads and erosion sites across the country either awarded but abandoned by contractors or have not been awarded at all, to be forwarded to the Executive Arm for urgent intervention. 

Members of the seven – man Ad – hoc committee headed by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (PDP Kebbi North), are Senators Tokunbo Abiru (APC Lagos East), Adamu Aliero (PDP Kebbi Central), Asuquo Ekpenyong (APC Cross River South), Hussaini Babangida (APC Jigawa Northwest) etc.  

The red chamber resolved further that  the federal government should consider the option of concessions by engaging credible construction firms after proper screenings to fix all bad roads across the country.

It also advised the government to seek alternative funding sources like the Muhammadu Buhari administration did with SUKUK and two others to enable it to deliver on road infrastructure projects. 

The motion for

Being a motion supported by almost all the serving 109 Senators, much debates were not allowed from Senators on it as the lead debate made by Senator Barau, moved the Senate into adoption of all the prayers.

Barau in the lead debate said: “Concerned that so many federal roads are in a very deplorable conditions.

“Aware that in some states of the federation, erosion has created deep gullies thereby cutting off some communities from other parts of the country.

“Also aware that some of these federal roads have been awarded for either construction or rehabilitation only to be abandoned by the contractors after moving to site.

“Observes that several trillions naira has been spent on road construction and rehabilitation in Nigeria since democracy returned to Nigeria in 1999 with minimal impact on our roads.

“Also observes that the poor state of the road infrastructure has virtually cut off many parts of the Nigeria, with its attendant negative impact on trade and commerce.

“Further observes that the collapse has led to a decline in agricultural activities, adversely affecting the movement of agricultural produce from rural area and across the country, resulting in a slide in the country’s agricultural output and economy especially now the country need to diversify its economy.

“Consequently notes with sadness concomitant loss of lives as a result of the bad state of the roads, as evidenced by the chilling statistics reeled out by the Federal Road Safety Commission which is a price too high and too prohibitive to pay”.

Expectedly, in his remark, the President of the Senate , Godswill Akpabio tasked the committee members  to carry out thorough compilation of the bad roads and abandoned contracted ones within the next four weeks for notification of the executive.

Co – sponsors of the motion 

The 106 co – sponsors of the motion are Senators Kalu, Orji Uzor (Abia North),  Abaribe, Enyinnaya Harcourt (Abia South), 

Nwokocha, Darlington (Abia Central),  Abbas, Aminu Iya (Adamawa Central), 

 Yaroe, Binos Dauda (Adamawa South),  Sm Ishaku, Elisha Cliff (Adamawa North), 

Etim, Bassey Aniekan (Akwa-Ibom Northeast),  Buba, Umar Shehu (Bauchi South), Sampson, Akpan Ekong (Akwa-Ibom South) and Kaila, Samaila Dahuwa (Bauchi North).

Others are Umeh, Victor Chukwunonyelu (Anambra Central), Nwoye, Tony (Anambra North),  Ubah, Patrick Ifeanyi (Anambra South) Kaka, Shehu Lawan (Borno Central), Ahmed, Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central), Moro, Abba Patrick (Benue South) , Dickson, Seriake Henry (Bayelsa West), Agadaga, Benson Sunday (Bayelsa East),  Konbowel, Benson Friday (Bayelsa Central), Ndume, Mohammed Ali (Borno South),  Emmanuel, Udende Memga (Benue North East),  Nweze, David Umahi (Ebonyi South), Zam, Titus Tartenger (Benue North West), Eze, Kenneth Emeka (Ebonyi Central) , Monguno, Mohammed Tahir (Borno North),  Ede, Dafinone Omueya (Delta Central), Jarigbe, Agom Jarigbe (Cross River North)  and Nwoko, Chinedu Munir (Delta North).

Other Senators on the list of co – sponsors of the motion are ÷  Jonah, Williams Eteng (Cross River Central), Joel, Onowakpo Thomas (Delta South),  Asuquo, Ekpenyong (Cross River South), Nwebonyi, Onyeka Peter (Ebonyi North),  Goje, Mohammed Danjuma (Gombe Central), Oshiomole, Adams Aliyu (Edo North),  Dankwambo, Ibrahim Hassan (Gombe North), Okpebholo, Monday (Edo Central), Abdulhamid, Mallam-Madori Ahmed (Jigawa East), Osita, Ngwu (Enugu West), 

 Khabeeb, Mustapha (Jigawa South West),  Sen. Imasuen, Neda Bernards (Edo South), 

Hussaini, Babagida Uba (Jigawa North West),  Oluwole, Fasuyi Cyril (Ekiti North), 

Bamidele, Opeyemi Michael (Ekiti Central),  Sen. Okechukwu, Ezea (Enugu North),  Adaramodu, Adeyemi Raphael (Ekiti South),  Sen. Chukwu, Chizoba Kelvin (Enugu East), 

Aliero, Adamu Mohammed Mainasara (Kebbi Central) and  Kingibe, Ireti Heebah (FCT).

Also among the motion co – sponsors Senators are ÷  Mohammed, Dandutse Muntari (Katsina South), Siyako, Yaro Anthony (Gombe South), Abdurrahman, Kawu Suleiman (Kano South),  Izunaso, Osita Bonaventure (Imo West), Ndubueze, Patrick Chiwuba (Imo East),  Onyewuchi, Ezenwa Francis (Imo East), Usman, Lawal Adamu (Kaduna Central) , Sen. Katung, Sunday Marshall (Kaduna South), Khalid, Ibrahim Mustapha (Kaduna North), Rufa’i, Sani Hanga (Kano Central), Yar’adua, Abdulaziz Musa (Katsina Central), Nasir Zangon-Daura (Katsina North), Ogoshi, Onawo Mohammed (Nasarawa South), Garba, Musa (Kebbi South), Abdullahi and Yahaya Abubakar (Kebbi North).

Others are Senators Jibrin, Isah (Kogi East), Ohere, Sadiku Abubakar (Kogi Central), Jiya, Peter Ndalikali (Niger South), Adetokunbo, Abiru Mukhail (Lagos East), Karimi, Sunday Steve (Kogi West), Aliyu, Wadada Ahmed (Nasarawa West), Yisa, Ashiru Oyelola (Kwara South), Adegbonmire, Adeniyi Ayodele (Ondo Central) Saliu, Mustapha (Kwara Central), Olajide, Ipinsagba Emmanuel (Ondo North, Suleiman, Umar Sadiq (Kwara North), Olamilekan, Adeola Solomon (Ogun West), Adebule, Idiat Oluranti (Lagos West), Eshilokun, Sanni Wasiu (Lagos Central),  Daniel, Olugbenga Justus (Ogun East), Jimoh, Ibrahim Folorunsho (Ondo South), Akwashiki, Godiya (Nasarawa North), Oyewumi, Kamorudeen Olalere (Osun West), Musa, Mohammed Sani (Niger East), Mwadkwon, Simon Davou (Plateau North) and Bello Sani Abubakar (Niger North).

Also among the Co – Sponsors were Senators Salisu, Shuaib Afolabi (Ogun Central), Isa, Shuaibu Lau (Taraba North), Olubiyi, Fadeyi Oluwole (Osun Central,  Manu, Haruna (Taraba Central), Fadahunsi, Adenigba Francis (Osun East), David, S. U Jimkuta (Taraba South), Akintunde, Yunus Abiodun (Oyo Central). Ibrahim, Lamido (Sokoto East), Alli  Sharafadeen Abiodun (Oyo South). Buhari  Abdulfatai (Oyo North). Napoleon  Binkap Bali (Plateau South), Bilbis  Aliyu Ikra (Zamfara Central), Diket  Satso Plang (Plateau Central), Banigo Ipalibo Harry (Rivers West), Onyesoh Allwel Heacho (Rivers East), Mpigi Barinada (Rivers South East), Wammako  Magatarkada Aliyu (Sokoto North),  Gaidam  Alhaji Ibrahim (Yobe East),  Tambuwal  Waziri Aminu (Sokoto South), Ya’u  Sahabi Alhaji (Zamfara North), Abubakar Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara West), Lawan Ahmad Ibrahim (Yobe North) and Mohammed  Bomai Ibrahim (Yobe South).

Required attention on deplorable conditions of Nigeria roads, has no doubt been drawn by the Senate for urgent intervention from the executive arm of government at the various levels, but the question is, will the attention drawing, yield any positive results? 

Time will definitely tell.

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