The Executive Director, Roads Maintenance Services, of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, Engineer Chris Ifeanyi Kammelu, has commended contractors handling projects across the federation for the quality of work done so far.
Engr. Kammelu disclosed this while fielding questions with journalists at the permanent site of the Kaduna Field Office following the conclusion of his tour of ongoing and completed contracts in the Zone 1 axis of FERMA on Friday, in Kaduna.
According to the Executive Director, “from my assessment, the quality of the road projects are high and if such standards is maintained, it would improve the standard of roads in Nigeria”.
Speaking on the ongoing road maintenance especially in Kaduna, where the residents have expressed their dissatisfaction with the pace of work and the quality of jobs done by previous contractors Engr. Kammelu revealed that most of the projects already started by the agency, including those awarded, would be concluded within their specified time frame.
The Agency’s Road Maintenance Services chief revealed that the purpose of his tour round the states across the country was to ensure that contractors are given the needed urge to move fast because, most of the roads, including the ‘COVID 19 Contracts’, would elapse by the end of May, 2021.
“Contractors must endeavour to finish the jobs by the end of May this year and, only then, will they get paid and this is why we are working round the clock to ensure that they do so”, he said.
“For those that have started work, I am certain that they will conclude work before the deadline give. Those that are yet to report to their sites, I have contacted them and also informed them that they have less than forty-five (45) days left to tidy up, whatever is left and finish their work. Minus that, the contract will be cancelled”, the Executive Director Roads Maintenance Services warned.
Reacting to the efforts of the agency in maintaining roads across the country, especially in the northern states, Engineer Ifeanyi Kammelu stressed that the efforts of the agency will not be limited to one particular section of the country but that every part of the federation will receive due attention.
He however stressed that the budgetary allocation to the agency is not sufficient enough as FERMA would require over Five Hundred Million Naira to maintain the roads in the whole federation but that what it gets is not up to ten percent of that sum.
“We are still appealing to the Federal Government to increase the budget for FERMA. We are just managing the little given to us the roads. Once the budget of FERMA is increased, I am sure that we will recover most of the roads too. However, we should know that majority of Nigerian roads have expired as most of them are 30years and above. We do not expect them to last more than 15years before they are rehabilitated or maintained. The replacement that most of Nigerian roads need is just maintaining. However, we are trying to maintain them.
Tasked on the issue of funding and the amount so far released to carry out the projects, Engr. Kammelu pointed out that despite the amount involved, that it would not in any way affect the quality or standard of the work.
“With the amount released, we are focusing on rehabilitating and maintaining the ones earmarked and this will in no way impact on the quality of the roads being done”.
Asked to comment and assess the efforts of the Kaduna Field Office under the leadership of Engr. (Dr.) Atiku Abubakar, the Executive Director expressed his satisfaction with the operations and leadership of Federal Roads Maintenance Engineer supervising the operations there.
“They are doing a good job but I believe that they can still do better”.
He was accompanied on the tour by the Zonal Director, Northwest Zone 1, Rasak Kolawole Olaniyi and the Federal Roads Maintenance Engineer, FRME Kaduna Filed Office, Engineer (Dr.) Atiku Abubakar.
Earlier on, road users expressed their satisfaction with the level of work so far done from the Mando roundabout of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway. They however, called on FERMA to also address the rehabilitation of the Ungwan Mu’azu to Trikania end of the road as the situation around these points have deteriorated and driving at night along that stretch has become a nightmare.
One of the articulated truck drivers that spoke to journalists, Husseini Awwalu commended FERMA for coming back to maintain the road but appealed that the agency could sand-fill some of the very bad portions that pose serious threat to trucks.
In his passable English, he said; “FERMA should help us put broken stones on the very bad areas so that trucks, especially fuel or diesel tankers plying the route do not fall and cause more damage to other road users. Some drivers are impatient and will not understand the roads very well and such will not help us”.
He appealed to other road users to exercise patience while driving especially around areas where FERMA personnel are working so as to also, support the ongoing repairs even where there is traffic buildup.