DECLARE STATE OF EMERGENCY ON ALL NIGERIAN ROADS, SENATE URGES FG
Written by Sarah Osanyinlusi on February 22, 2022
The Senate has called on the Executive to as a matter of urgency, declare a State of Emergency on all federal roads across the country.
The Upper Chamber also asked the Federal Government to remit, the N850 Billion Naira accrued to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, (FERMA), as a result of the 5% User Charge, on the pump price of petrol, diesel and International Vehicle Transit Charges, provided for in Section 14 of FERMA (Amendment) Act No.18 of 2007.
This is following a Point of Order by Senator Gershom Bassey, coming under Order 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Rules, calling the attention of the senate on the drastic increase in airfare, which pegs the minimum economy class ticket at about N80,000 for travellers of a one-way ticket.
Senator Bassey lamented that the hike in airfare will further put pressure on the neglected and dilapidated Nigeria roads, and in turn, worsen the state of the roads in Nigeria.
The lawmaker noted that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, (FERMA), had a budgetary approval of 20 percent, of the total funds required by the Agency for the rehabilitation of about 35,000km of federal roads in 2022.
Senator Bassey expressed worry that the massive debt owed FERMA by the Federal Government has hampered the effective discharge of its primary responsibility of road maintenance and rehabilitation.
Senate Majority Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, (Kebbi State), in his contribution, said the investigation was carried out on the said funds, with officials of the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency, charged with the mandate to effect the 5% deductions from all oil proceeds.
He added that the section of the FERMA Act that stipulates a 5% deduction from oil proceeds, is yet to be implemented
The Senate accordingly resolved to mandate the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on all federal roads and ensure accrued 800billion be paid to FERMA, pending the conclusion of the investigation, earlier initiated by the senate.