COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF ONE DAY STAKEHOLDERS’ FORUM ORGANIZED BY THE FEDERAL ROADS MAINTENANCE AGENCY ON
“ROAD MAINTENANCE AND REFORMS: LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK”
HELD ON TUESDAY 15TH OCTOBER 2019, AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA.
At the stakeholders’ forum held on Tuesday 15th October 2019 on the state of Nigerian Roads titled “Road Maintenance and Reforms: Legal and Institutional Framework”; issues bothering on road maintenance in Nigeria were discussed.
The following observations were made:
- that federal roads are in deplorable conditions in Nigeria due to several reasons, chief among which are inadequate and inappropriate funding;
- that funding of road maintenance has not been prioritized in recent years as done in preindependence and post-independence Development Plans;
- that the lack of an approved National/Federal Transport Policy and its sub-set policies such as the National/Federal Road Transport Policy, Roads and Bridges Tolling Policy; Local Content Policy for the road subsector, etc. has hampered the effectiveness of existing road development in Nigeria;
- that the lack of synergy in existing institutional framework for effective road maintenance management has negatively affected the adequacy of funding available for road maintenance;
- that the inadequacy and non-effectiveness of alternative modes of transport (e.g. railways, waterways, airways etc.) leads to the overuse of national roadways, thereby rapidly reducing the serviceability of the carriageways of the national road network in Nigeria;
- that stakeholders within the road development industry deserve to be better informed about existing and emerging challenges and plans of FERMA as the national road manager;
- that emerging cultures in road management need to factor-in environmental and climatic considerations in its operations as these have been found to adversely impact pavement performance; and
- that institutionalization of sustainable capacity building mechanisms and the deployment of smart technologies in road asset management in Nigeria has been weak.
The following recommendations were made to shore up the positive impacts of roads on sustainable
socioeconomic development of Nigeria:
- Roads should be in the “High – High” priority matrix of development goals;
- There is an urgent need for the implementation of the provision of section 4 of the FERMA Amendment Act (2007) which provides for several streams of sustainable funding for the operations of the Agency;
- There is an urgent need for the exploration and exploitation of further feasible alternative sources of funding (e.g. fines, road-tax and tax-credit schemes, private sector participation, etc.) for road maintenance in Nigeria;
- Budgetary allocation to road development, maintenance and management should be increased;
- Emergency funding for road maintenance by the federal government and the national assembly has become more of a necessity than an option;
- There is a need for an approved National/Federal Transport Policy and Road Transport Policy to show direction and mirror current realities of the national transport sector and hence that of the road sub-sector;
- Stakeholders’ consultations should be used as critical feedback mechanism on any proposed solutions to the present state of the Nigerian roads;
- Develop strategic plan for the rehabilitation of major economic routes and stabilize pavements of existing carriageways before and even while considering maintenance;
- Compliance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act on responsive bidder as against lowest bid in selecting competent contractors is preeminent;
- Budget for Constituency and Zonal Intervention projects should be made an addendum to proposed FERMA budget instead of impinging on limited fund allocated to the maintenance of federal roads.
- Deployment of contemporary road maintenance schemes (e.g. Performance-Based Road Maintenance Contracts, Own-a-Road program etc.) for a more sustainable maintenance and management of the Nigerian road network.