Most Nigerian roads have expired and no matter the amount spent in maintaining them would not suffice, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has said.
The Managing Director of FERMA Engr Nurudeen Rafindadi told members of the Senate Committee on FERMA during an oversight visit yesterday in Abuja that most Nigerian roads have 20-year life span, but have far outlived that period.
This is even as the committee, chaired by Sen Magnus Abe (APC, Rivers), directed FERMA to give priority, in terms of payment, to contractors that have worked tremendously and met their expectations.
Rafindadi said: "No matter how much you want to keep them in good shape it is difficult. So, the focus of the present government is a renewal of our road infrastructure, and you can see the difference in the investment strategy in the last three years. It is a very tough task that cannot be resolved easily."
Speaking earlier, Abe said although FERMA was created to take away the bureaucracy that visited the maintenance of roads from the Federal Ministry of Works, the same challenges linger.
"It is sad to note that the exact same challenges that plagued the Federal Ministry of Works are still what is plaguing the agency today: non-availability of funds, and therefore inability to respond effectively to the challenges of Nigerian roads.
"I commend the present management under the leadership of Engr Rafindadi for the change in the light of some of the expenditures that we witnessed here in the recent past, where funds meant for maintenance of roads were being usednto purchase childish items and fritted away," he said.
He asked the agency to forward to the committee the breakdown of capital releases and expenditure from 2017 "as quickly as possible."