Senate Demands Urgent Rehabilitation Of Federal Roads As Airfare Rises 


Following the increase in airfare and the implication on Nigerian roads, the Senate on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, declare a State of Emergency on the nation’s federal roads.

The upper chamber also urged the Federal Government to immediately make good its indebtedness to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency in order to enable the agency to carry out its primary responsibility of rehabilitating federal roads, especially in the face of the astronomical increase in airfares.

Special Assistant (Press) to the Senate President, Ezrel Tabiowo, disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday.

He said, “Rising under Order 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Orders, Senator Gershom Bassey lamented that local airfares in Nigeria have risen by 63 per cent in response to a spike in the price of aviation fuel and attendant cost of operation.

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“According to him, the rise in airfare has pegged the minimum Economy Class ticket at around N80,000 for travellers buying one-hour, one-way economy tickets.

“He expressed worry that the increase in airfares would increase the pressure on the neglected and dilapidated Nigerian roads and further worsen their state.

“The lawmaker noted that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) had a budgetary approval of just 20 per cent of the funds the agency requires for the rehabilitation of about 35,000km of federal roads in 2022.”

He said Senator Bassey observed that the sum of about N850 billion that is to accrue to FERMA by virtue of the five per cent user charge on pump price of petrol, diesel and international vehicle transit charges provided for in Section 14 of FERMA (Amendment) Act No.18 of 2007 is still being owed FERMA by the Federal Government.

The Senator said, “The humongous debt owed FERMA by the Federal Government has hampered the effective discharge of FERMA’s primary responsibility of road maintenance and rehabilitation.” punch


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