July 14, 2024
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The House of Representatives has concluded plans to investigate the Federal Road Maintenance Agency over the bad state of roads across the country, leading to accidents and deaths despite the allocation of billions of naira to it yearly.

 Subsequent to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, the House planned to set up an ad hoc committee to “See into the activities of FERMA from 2019 till date and report back to the House within six weeks.”

  Moving the motion titled ‘Need to Investigate the Monumental Fraud and Illegalities Going on at the Federal Road Maintenance Agency of Nigeria,’ Elumelu noted that FERMA was established in 2002 with the mandate to efficiently and effectively monitor as well as the maintenance all federal roads in the country with an objective of keeping all the roads in a good and safe condition at all time.

  Noting that FERMA is under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, the lawmaker said, “While billions of naira is voted to FERMA yearly for purposes of road maintenance, the federal roads across the country are nothing to write home about, as most of them have become death traps, killing hundreds of Nigerians yearly as a result of poor conditions of our roads.”

 According to Elumelu, FERMA, which was set up to ameliorate the sufferings of road users, is alleged to be enmeshed in serious corrupt practices by the management.

  He said, “The House is disturbed that the corrupt practices include highhandedness by the leadership of the agency, over inflation of contracts, award of non-existent contracts, massive splitting of jobs and flagrant disregard for procurement laws in the award of contracts, and in most cases refuse to implement the budget in full thereby doing selective implementation of the budget.

 “The House is further disturbed that there are allegations of intentional delays in awarding contracts for road repairs and construction several months after bidding had been completed and successful bidders have emerged, thereby compounding problems for Nigeria road users and sabotaging the effort of the government.

 

 

 

“The House is worried that most of these contracts are alleged to have been cornered by the management for themselves and their cronies who abandon the site after collecting a reasonable percentage of advance payment of contract sum.

 “The House is further worried that if the spate of unbridled pilfery  by top government officials is allowed to fester and unchecked, it will not only drain the national purse but discredit the perceived fight against corruption by this government in the eyes of the international community, hence the need for this motion.”

 

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