The Oasis Reporters
April 26, 2021
By Emmanuel Onotevure, Kaduna
‘… Kaduna Field Office Is Doing Well’ – Engr. Chris Kammelu
Having exceeded the 30 year lifespan, majority of Nigerian roads have expired and these roads should have their maintenance and rehabilitation carried out regularly, if Nigerian commuters are to have smooth rides on them.
This was the disclosure of the Executive Director, Roads Maintenance Service of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, Engineer Chris Ifeanyi Kammelu while concluding his tour of ongoing and completed road projects in the North-west Zone 1 of FERMA, recently in Kaduna.
Engr. Kammelu commended contractors handling projects across the federation for the quality of work done so far, saying; “from my assessment, the quality of the work is high and if such standard is maintained, it would improve the condition of roads in Nigeria”.
Speaking on the issue of funding, Engr. Kammelu described it as “inadequate”. He, however, said FERMA will maintain high quality and standard of the works executed with the little resources at her disposal.
“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 road works being done”.
Responding to questions, as regards the possibility of the ongoing road maintenance projects in Kaduna being concluded within the specified time frame, Engr. Kammelu reiterated that most of the projects already started by the agency, including those awarded recently, 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 before the deadline given. 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 ED 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 Billion Naira to maintain the roads in the whole federation but that what it gets is not up to ten percent of that amount.
“We are still appealing to the Federal Government to increase the budget for FERMA. We are just managing the little given to us for the roads. Once the budget of FERMA is increased, I am sure that we will recover most of the roads too.
“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”.
Many of the residents of communities where there are ongoing projects have however, commended the agency for the quality of work being done, comparing the current status with the condition and quality of jobs done previously.
Commenting on the performance of Kaduna Field Office under the leadership of Engr. (Dr.) Atiku Abubakar, the ED expressed his satisfaction with the way the FERMA projects are being executed in the state.
“They are doing a good job but I believe that they can still do better”.
The Zonal Director, Northwest Zone 1, Rasak Kolawole Olaniyi and the Federal Roads Maintenance Engineer, FRME Kaduna Field Office, Engineer (Dr.) Atiku Abubakar accompanied Engineer Chris Kammelu on the tour.
Earlier on, road users expressed their satisfaction with the level of work done so far, which covers from Mando roundabout to Rigasa of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway. They however, called on FERMA to look into the possibility of extending the work to cover Ungwan Mu’azu and 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 should tackle the remaining bad portions that pose serious threat to trucks.
“FERMA should help us fill up the bad sections 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 and support the ongoing repairs even where there is traffic buildup.