By Perpetua Onuegbu
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday said that roads repaired by the Federal Government during the ember months were paying off.
Fashola said this in Abuja during a performance review meeting of stakeholders on the 2021 ember months and post- rainy season paliative measures on Nigerian roads.
The Director of Press and Public Relations, Mrs Boade Akinola, made this known to newsmen in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Fashola said the Ministry and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) annually undertake nationwide repairs of federal roads during ember months and post-rainy season, to facilitate easy movement of travellers, goods and services.
He said that different seasons used to come with different challenges and that the plan for every season is usually based on available reports, adding that by so doing, things were done better.
“Seasons of the year bring different challenges, so what works for one season is not going to work for another season and we must remember this as public servants.
“It is with planning we can make things better. Things don’t happen by accident, we can control how they happen with good planning,” he said.
Fashola said that ember months were not a period to toy with, adding that it was a period when most things began to happen naturally.
”Based on that, the roads become so busy which compels the Ministry and FERMA to carry out palliative works to reduce accidents and other ugly incidents on the roads.
“So let’s remember what ember months’ period is. It is the months indicating clearly that the year is coming to an end.
”And as the year ends, certain things begin to happen naturally.
“People still travel, there are a lot of social and religious gatherings and movements, people consume a lot more items than they normally consume and the roads will be busy,” he added.
Fashola said the ember months’ repairs of busy roads to ensure seamless travelling had reduced accidents rate by nine per cent according to reports by Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
He tasked every road user to be responsible, saying that the road as a shared asset could only last when used properly.
The minister said that no asset would last if abused.
He urged trailer drivers to avoid parking on road shoulders saying such would reduce the road’s life span.
Fashola, however, said that the road repairs were not the final answer, but construction and rehabilitation.
He said that the Ministry had repaired and constructed many roads and still doing more across the states of the Federation.
Fashola charged contractors working on Nigerian roads to use proper road signages at all the construction sites, adding that they must not compromise on standards.
He said that any contractor not complying with the standards would be sanctioned.
It also quoted Mr Anthony Asogwa, the representative of Deputy General Secretary, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), to have commended the Ministry and FERMA for their achievements on roads maintenance nationwide during the ember months.
He said the intervention had helped to curb accident rate.
Earlier, Mr Folorunsho Esan, the Director Highways Construction and Rehabilitation in the ministry read out the various highways nationwide the ember months and post-rainy season where repair works were carried out.
Esan said that the Federal Government released the needed funds to carry out the repairs on the affected roads.
Mr Nurudeen Rafindadi, the Managing Director, FERMA, also agreed that funds for the execution of the repair works on the affected roads were released on time.
At the stakeholders meeting were Deputy Corps Marshal Operations, Mr Kayode Fanola, Deputy Corps Marshal Operations, FRSC and Mr Yusuf Lawal Othman, National President, Nigerian Association of Transport Owners (NARTO).