The federal government has announced plans to rehabilitate collapsed portions of roads across the country, stating that it has committed the sum N75,765,087,178.28 for the project.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by the Director, Highway Construction and Rehabilitation, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr Folorunso Esan, at the meeting of stakeholders in the transport sector to plan and prepare making the roads motorable and ensure the safety of lives on the country’s highways.
He said the rainy season had affected many sections of the road across the country, hence the need for urgent palliative works to avoid further deterioration.
He added that such bad sections had been identified and appropriately mapped out, stating that contracts for the repairs would be awarded to contractors as part of preparation for the ember months.
In his address, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, appealed to stakeholders in the road sector to double down on improving safety and sanity on the highways.
Fashola added that government was doing all it could to move cargoes by rail to make the roads more durable.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is making efforts to ensure that overloaded trucks no longer ply the nation’s highways.
“You may not be aware of this, the government is building the Kano, Lagos and the Abeokuta pipeline and we want to see petrol tankers going on railway and we hope this can relieve pressure on the road.
“I want to appeal to road users, NUPENG, NATO, NURTW and FRSC that we have to work together. Our responsibility is to ensure safety of the road users.
“All the data that we have about the road show us that most of the accidents on the road are as a result of speed violation.
“We are going to start our restrictions with over-loading. We are going to start it in Lagos at the tollgate.
“If your vehicle is over-loaded, you will pay fines, so the reason we have done that is that we want to make it cheaper to comply and make it very expensive to break the law.
“That way, we hope that people will choose to comply instead of paying excessive penalties,” he said.
On his part, the Corps Safety Engineering Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Rindom Kumven, said safety campaign are being launched in all our sectors and zonal commands across the country to create awareness for all road users.
“Along side road condition, surveys are being conducted to see the real conditions of the road and the report will also be forwarded to the ministry.
“We are also identifying the black spot which we have identified over time which can possibly pose a challenge to us.
“All these areas have been identified and are being addressed so that all Nigerians will have a safe travel throughout the ember months and beyond,” Kumven said.
Also speaking at the meeting, NUPENG Deputy National Chairman, Lucky Osezuwa, appealed to government to make good the promise to fix the roads.
Stakeholders in attendance include representatives from the National Road Transport Owners, NARTO; National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG; National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, and Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC.
Others are the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, and contractor handling the various road projects in the country, where they have promised to fix failed portions of critical roads across the federation.