The Senate has asked the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on federal roads as result of the deplorable conditions of road networks across the country.
The upper chamber also mandated its Committee on FERMA, Petroleum Down Stream and National Planning to investigate the non- remittance of the 5 per cent user charge pump price of petrol and international vehicle transit charge accruing to FERMA and other established state road maintenance agency .
These resolutions followed deliberations on a motion moved by Sen. Geshom Bassey (Cross River South) who lamented the deplorable state of federal roads.
Bassey on Tuesday came under Senate order 42 and 52 of the Senate rule to present his motion during plenary.
The Senate was concerned that several thousands of lives have been lost to road accidents due to bad and unmotorable roads, while bad portion of roads are safe haven for kidnappers and armed robbers on Nigerian highways.
Supporting the motion, Sen. Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu North) said the state of the federal highways are highly deplorable and that urgent attention is needed especially within this budget cycle to do something drastic to address the situation.
Utazi said “and like you prayed that the PPPRA should release the fund for totally provided for FERMA to do its job.
“Mr. President, the raining season is just gradually coming to an end and this is the opportunity for FERMA to go and start rehabilitating our roads so that Nigerians can move freely.
“This period is also the time for harvest and in order to ensure that farmers that are in the hinterland get to the appropriate market to get adequate prices for their goods, we have to make sure the roads are properly done.
“You also know that because we don’t have the rail lines that should be in place, most of the goods and services that we move from one place to the other are done through trucking and if you continue to do trucking, you know that the life span of any major federal highway may not last long.
“This is a very important motion moved at the most appropriate time to get the desired attention and I’m standing here lending my support and full weigh to get that being done knowing full well that those of us from the south east are the major complainants of the bad roads in this country and we hope that we get the desired attention from FERMA if this motion scales through.
In his comment, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said he believe that every part of the country suffers from this problem of deplorable roads.
He expressed optimism that the committees mandated to look into the matter will swing into action and attend to the issue associated with this motion.
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