In spite of the efforts of intervention bodies such as the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), many federal roads across the country remain in deplorable condition, a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has indicated.
In Ondo State, commuters plying federal roads linking the state with neighbouring states have appealed to the federal and Ondo State Government to attend to the roads in order to put a stop to the carnage on the roads.
Tolu Arigbagbuwo, a driver, who said he travels a lot, said the Akure-Ado Ekiti Road remains one of the worst in the country
Arigbagbuwo urged the state government to liase with the Federal Government and fix the road.
“At least, I spend N7, 000 on my car weekly due to the nature of the roads. It is so pathetic, government should come to our rescue,” he said.
Also speaking, Hakeem Omojuwa, a passenger, said the state government was trying to repair some sections of Owo-Ikare highway and other roads leading to Abuja.
Omojuwa said if the roads were fixed, cases of kidnapping on the highways would also reduce.
He urged government to begin massive construction and reconstruction of roads throughout the federation.
FERMA in Oyo State, however, says it is intensifying efforts to ensure that federal roads were made motorable.
Mr Tolu Adeniji, an official in the Oyo State office of the agency, said that maintenance work was ongoing on failed portions of the 44.5 kilometre Ibadan – Oyo dual carriageway and Ibadan- Ife road among others.
He said maintenance works on all the roads had reached appreciable stages and had put an end to the untold hardship being experienced by motorists.
Adeniji also refuted the allegation that the Federal Government had abandoned repair of its roads in the state.
He assured motorists and other road users that the few other roads that needed repair would be attended to soon, saying FERMA was on top of its statutory duties.
Adeniji, however, appealed to residents of communities on highways, especially Alakaara near Oyo town, to desist from using road medians as refuse dumps.
The Federal Ministry of Works in Oyo State , on its part, disclosed that most of the road projects in the state were at final stages of completion while some had been completed.
An official of the ministry, Mr Samson Ojetunde, said work had been completed on the Oyo state axis of the 72.7km Ibadan-Abeokuta road handled by Kopek Construction Company.
He said that work had also reached appreciable stage on the dualisation of the 52km Oyo- Ogbomosho road being handled by Reynolds Construction Company (RCC).
”Among other ongoing projects in the state are Lagos – Ibadan section 11 – Shagamu interchange to Ibadan handled by RCC and the 57.7km Ogbomosho – Iko- Ilogbo -Osogbo road being handled by Dutum Construction Company,” Ojetunde stated.
He disclosed that the failed portions on old Oyo- Ogbomosho road was receiving due attention as the ministry had directed RCC handling the new road to fix the old road to ease traffic snarl on the single carriageway
The Ogun Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), on its part, urged motorists to exercise patience while the rehabilitation work from Ojodu-Berger to Ogun River section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway continues.
The spokesperson of the agency, Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi, made the appeal in Abeokuta in an interview with NAN.
“There has been a partial closure of inbound Lagos traffic along the 1.4 km portion of the Berger (New Garage Bus Stop) – Ogun River (Kara Bridge) of the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway to enable Julius Berger carry out an intensive rehabilitation work on the highway.
“The partial closure commenced on Sept. 2 and will last till Dec. 15; so we appeal for more patience from motorists while the project lasts,” he said.
He urged motorists who might be in a hurry to avoid the area and use alternative routes like the Iyana-Ipaja/Ota/Ifo/Abeokuta/Sagamu-Benin-Ore expressway; Victoria Island/Lekki/Epe/ijebu-Ode-Benin//Ore expressway or the Ikorodu/ Itoikin/ Ijebu-Ode-Benin/ Ore expressway.
The Ogun Commander of the FRSC, Mr Clement Oladele, also told NAN that palliative works were ongoing under Ogun River Bridge at the popular Kara Cattle Market to help improve traffic flow.
He noted that the rehabilitation of the entire Lagos-Ibadan expressway, which began in 2013 and earlier scheduled to end in 2017, would now be completed by 2021/2022 because the Muhammadu Buhari -led administration included some missing features.
He listed the additional features to include underpasses, footbridges, flyovers, toll plazas and road expansion.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Petrol Tanker Drivers , Mosimi Depot, Alhaji Ganiyu Adurogangan has lamented the poor condition of the Ikorodu/Sagamu road, describing it as “devastating”.
Adurogangan, who decried the huge financial loss the road had caused for members of his association, urged the Federal Government to urgently fix the road as the country was risking losing many lives as a result of petrol tanker explosion.
“The road has remained a source of huge loss as we are losing huge amount of money everyday because whether or not we pass the road, it’s either a loss of money or loss of lives.
“When moving products from our Mosimi Depot which should take us like 30 minutes, we have to go all the way to pass through Lagos/Ibadan expressway.
“This costs us more money and more time since we cannot pass through that horrible road for fear of product spillage due to the bad condition of the road.
“It’s a federal road, so the Federal Government should be serious about the road. It has been awarded lots of times but we’re yet to see any major improvement.
“If the road is fixed, it will take a huge burden off the Lagos/Ibadan road and even reduce travel time,” he added.
The Majority Leader of Ogun House of Assembly, Hon. Sherrif Yusuf, also appealed to the Federal Government to urgently fix the bad portions on the Sango /Abeokuta Expressway, especially Owode/Iyana Ilogbo /Joju axis.
Yusuf (APC – Ado-Odo/Ota 1) made the appeal in an interview with NAN in Abeokuta.
The lawmaker said that palliatives could no longer solve the problem of the roads.
He explained that precious time that could have been invested in economic and other profitable activities were being wasted on the road by motorists due to the bad portions.
Yusuf, who expressed appreciation to the Ogun Government under the leadership of Gov. Dapo Abiodun for various palliative measures it had carried out on the highway, noted that major intervention was needed on the road.
“The Federal Government should find a lasting solution to the road, especially the Ewekoro, Itori and Sango axis of the road.
“ A thorough rehabilitation of that road by the Federal Government will alleviate the problems of our people,” he said.
The Ogun government had in August announced plans to rehabilitate three major federal roads linking the state and Lagos due to the economic importance of the roads.
Abiodun had made this known in a statement issued in Abeokuta on Aug. 2 by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin.
The roads, according to Abiodun, are the Ikorodu – Ogijo – Shagamu, the Epe – Ijebu/Ode and the Lagos – Ota – Abeokuta.
He had stated that the Ogun government was already seeking support of the Federal Government and the World Bank over the matter.
Abiodun, according to the statement, had noted that the Lagos – Ota – Abeokuta road had remained a gory sight particularly whenever it rained, resulting in hardship for Ogun residents who need to commute to and from Lagos State.
“People who shuttle through Iyana / Ilogbo axis of the road often talk about the nightmare they encounter everyday because of potholes and endless gridlock.
“This is a road under the fourth addendum and requires about N26 billion for complete rehabilitation.
” As a responsible government, we cannot fold our arms while our people suffer,” the statement had quoted Abiodun as saying.
The governor had explained further that the Epe – Ijebu/ Ode and the Ikorodu – Ogijo roads required similar intervention.
He noted that Lagos State had completed its own end of the Epe- – Ijebu/Ode road.
“What we need to make it a total package is about 14.4km stretch.
“So, we are taking it over because the welfare of our people is paramount to us.
” When completed, it will become an alternative route to motorists going to the Eastern part of the country,” he had said.
In Kwara, Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, said the administration was not satisfied with the level of work on federal roads in Kwara North Senatorial District.
Ajakaye said the governor had gone on a tour of facilities in Kaiama in the district and had expressed his dissatisfaction at the work done by some contractors in the area.
According to him, Abdulraaq hinted that the government may drag contractors employed by the previous administration before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for not doing thorough jobs.
Ajakaye also said the governor had taken the matter of Kishi-Kaiama road up with the Federal Government.
“This administration might report the contractor employed by the previous administration to the anti-graft agency for collecting at least N1.1 billion to fix a segment of the road without any result,” he said.
He explained that the Abdulrazaq administration was also discussing the Kosubosu-Kaiama-Bode Sadu road with the Federal Government.
Ajakaye, however, said the state might seek alternative funding for the project to hasten its construction in the next four years and then apply for refund.
Alhaji Wasiu Atitebi, the Federal Controller of Works in Kwara, on his part, said the Federal Government was not indebted to any contractor handling ongoing federal road projects in the three senatorial districts of the state.
Atitebi said that all certificates for payment of jobs executed were settled by the Federal Government.
The Controller, who did not specify the amount the Federal Government had spent on all ongoing road projects across the three senatorial districts of the state, said construction work on all the projects had reached advanced stage.
According to Atitebi, the ongoing construction of 100 kilometers Share-Patigi road had recorded over 13 kilometers asphalt work.
He attributed the slow pace of work on the road to some omissions of some items required in the contract agreement which had been corrected.
Atitebi said only 14 kilometers of the 140 kilometers’ llorin- Ehiba road in Kogi had been executed.
The Controller disclosed that over 60 percent asphalt work had been completed on Ajase-Offa-Erin lle road while work on Offa bye pass had recorded over 78 kilometers asphalt.
On Afon-Aboto-Oyo state boundary road work, the Controller said the job had reached an advanced stage and would soon link Oyo State.
Mr Olaniyan Olayemi, the State Engineer for FERMA in Osun, said that most of the federal roads in the state were in the state of disrepair.
Olayemi ,however , stated that his agency was working to repair most of the badly damaged portions of the federal roads within the state.
He said the major challenge his agency was facing in ensuring the roads were fully repaired was funding.
Olayemi said road repair work by his agency was ongoing on Inisa-Okuku road, Ibadan-Ife road, Ife-Sekona road and Ife-Ilesa road.
He said the Federal Ministry of Works was working on Osogbo-Ilobu road and Osogbo-Ilesa roads.
FERMA , he added, could only carry out repair and maintenance work on the roads after the ministry might have handed it over to the agency.
The 2020 budgetary proposal for repairs of federal roads, he said, had been submitted to the Senate for appropriation.
He said once the money was approved, repair works on all the bad federal roads in the state would be done.
Also speaking, Mr Soji Adeniji, the Coordinating Director, Osun Ministry of Works, commended the Federal Government’s intervention on reconstruction of some major federal roads across the state.
Adenji said some federal roads were now undergoing rehabilitation with the support of FERMA.
He said the condition of 17 federal roads in the state were deplorable before the intervention of the Buhari administration.
“The Federal Government has now taken over the Iwo –Osogbo road for rehabilitation.
‘’ We hope the Federal Government will visit other bad roads in the state for rehabilitation.
In Ado Ekiti, respondents urged the Federal Government to give priority to fixing of federal roads in the state.
Mr Seyi Olaolu, a transporter, lamented that not much rehabilitation work had been carried out on some the roads in recent past, while those that were rehabilitatated became bad soon after repairs.
Olaolu said the 15-km dualisation project between Ado Ekiti, the state capital, and Ifaki Ekiti, embarked upon more than 10 years ago was yet to be completed.
Another respondent, Mr Sunday Oluyemu, said the federal road linking Ikere Ekiti with Akure, the ondo state capital, had almost become unmotorable.
NAN gathered from the state Ministry of Works that the state government had so far spent over N13billion in rehabilitating some roads.
Such federal roads include the dualised Ado Ekiti-Ifaki road done by Segun Oni administration, the dualised Ado Ekiti-Ikere road done by Ayo Fayose administration and the single lane Ado Ekiti-Ilawe road done by Kayode Fayemi administration during his first term.