Pulled from Punch online
The Federal Government is committed to addressing the gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos.
The Managing Director of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Mr. Gabriel Amuchi, who stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, said the agency was committed to its zero potholes policy.
Amuchi said the Ministry of Works was working to solve problems associated with the ever busy Oshodi-Apapa Road.
He stated, “Our parent ministry, the Federal Ministry of Works, is in charge of Oshodi-Apapa Road and I can assure you that they (the ministry) are working tirelessly to ensure the gridlock becomes a thing of the past.”
The FERMA managing director explained that the agency had been placing emphasis on preventive road maintenance.
He stated, “We don’t allow roads to fail completely before we intervene. As we intervene on failed roads, we establish surveillance of roads that are even in fair condition so that signs of failure are addressed early enough.”
According to him, FERMA is partnering with the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme in training young people for road maintenance.
Amuchi said the agency had begun the reorientation of its workforce, adding that 38 field and 12 zonal offices had been set up by FERMA.
“We developed four major emergency lines that have helped a lot in beefing up our response mechanism,” he stated.
He said that the agency had acquired 38 road patchers, which were distributed across its zonal and filed offices.
He said that FERMA, in collaboration with agencies such as the Federal Road Safety Corps and the police, was able to reduce road accidents during the last Christmas.
Amuchi stated, “We monitor the roads such that broken down trucks are promptly removed and it is mandatory that all our men don’t go on vacation during the Yuletide till March when the rainy season commences.”
Amuchi added that FERMA had cleared road medians of hoodlums, adding that the roads had been when lit.
He identified the major problem facing the agency as finance. The director, however, said the agency had ensured judicious use of the funds at its disposal.
He stated, “As it is the case with most countries in the world, the challenge for effective and sustainable road maintenance is always funding.
“You never have enough so whatever we have is distributed all across the country on priority basis and challenges are reduced because of the response mechanism we have.”