For urgent repairs of road damaged by flood across the country , the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has requested for N100billion intervention fund from the federal government.
This is as the Senate Committee on Special Duties decried N774million earmarked as capital votes for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the 2023 fiscal year.
The N100billion intervention fund was sought by the Managing Director of FERMA, Engr. Nurudeen Abdulrahman Rafindadi, on Monday at the National Assembly during 2023 budget defence session he had with the Senate Committee on FERMA.
Rafindadi who made the request in response to question asked by Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gershom Bassey (PDP Cross River South), on steps being taken by FERMA to re-fix the washed away roads , said evaluation carried out by the agency, shows that N100billion is urgently needed as intervention fund for road repairs in the affected areas.
“FERMA has more significant role to play in getting things right in the flooded areas in terms of creating access for emergency services or relief materials.
“Without re – fixing the damaged roads across the flooded areas , no relief material or emergency services can be given to victims.
“Evaluation of damages done on the affected roads across the states , have been carried out, requiring N100billion for re – fixing,” he said.
Earlier in his submission before the committee on the 2023 budget, the FERMA boss said N31.6billion envelope was given the agency as capital votes for 2023 fiscal year.
The N31.6billion he lamented , was not even half of the N70billion appropriated for similar purpose in the 2022 fiscal year.
Virtually all the members of the committee , assured the FERMA boss that legislative intervention would be made towards facilitation of the N100billion intervention fund for road repairs in areas affected by flood .
Meanwhile the Senate Committee on Special Duties , has decried the N774million earmarked as capital votes for NEMA in 2023.
The Committee headed by Senator Yusuf A Yusuf (APC Taraba Central) , frowned at the allocation in the face of enormous emergency services NEMA has at hands to offer victims of flooded areas across the country .
Specifically, a member of the Committee, Senator Francis Fadahunsi ( PDP Osun East), said NEMA should be moved away from Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to the Presidency.
” The problem or disaster at hand far outweigh the paltry sum of N774million earmarked as capital votes for 2023 fiscal year in the face of emergency services running into billions of Naira to be offered to people and communities affected by flood across the country,” he said.
Earlier in his submission, the NEMA boss, Mustapha Habeeb Muhammed, told the committee that warnings given by NEMA before the flood disasters were not heeded by the State and local governments in the affected areas.
“Prior to the 2022 flood disaster, NEMA wrote about four letters to all states of the federation on the need to set up local emergency committee to mitigate the impact of floods but to our surprise, only four states heeded the advice,” he said.
He admonished the Nation to key into farming in forestalling food scarcity that may arise from quantum of farm plabts that have been washed away.