The Ag. Managing Director/CEO of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Engr. Nuruddeen A. Rafindadi, FNSE, FAEng, FNAHS, has declared that there are still more hurdles to cross before FERMA could reach the peak of the position ascribed to it by the authorities, to build, maintain and repair the federal highways across the country.
Engr. Rafindadi made this statement in Abuja while receiving in audience, the Ag. Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr. Chidi K. C. Izuwah, who paid a courtesy call to his office to intimate him and the FERMA Executive Directors on the importance of Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a way of improving Nigerian road sector reform.
Rafindadi went on, that for any nation to develop its economy, a good road policy reform or model must be in place and must be executed accordingly. He suggested that there is need to revisit the road vision 2000 development sector reform made in Nigeria during the era of President Olusegun Obasanjo that was not implemented.
According to him, Nigeria has had a flux in road sector policy since year 2000 when a road policy tagged “Road Vision 2000 was developed to build and maintain roads” but we (Nigeria) have an attitude of unwillingness to imbibed this sector reform approach, the reason we are still where we are.
He cited the India road sector reform we wanted to copy as one of the best in the world but could not implement it due to lack of institutional framework and leadership. Though, Engr. Rafindadi welcomed the PPP as a good idea to develop our road sector reform but emphasized that, more need to be done to improve the public procurement system to be more transparent enough to thoroughly eradicate corruption, adding that there must be a change of perception or thinking from public procurement system to Public Private thinking, if we want to embrace PPP as a way forward.
Earlier, Ag. Director General of ICRC, Engr. Chidi K. C. Izuwa, stated that Nigeria can go into Public Private Partnership to build and maintain the roads and also have value for money.
Engr. Izuwah said that his agency is ready to synergize with FERMA to examine different ways available between the two Agencies to go into PPP as a mechanism to drive Nigerian roads policy to the optimum to boost the economy.
Maryam M. Sanusi (Mrs.)