Newly-assigned Permanent Secretary to Federal Ministry of Works, Dr. Dauda S. Kigbu, has commended the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) for effectively and sustainably maintaining all arterial Federal roads and highways nationwide.
The Permanent Secretary gave the commendation on Wednesday, 3rd December 2014, while paying a familiarisation visit to the Agency’s Wuse II, Abuja headquarters.
Dr. Kigbu observed that physical infrastructures like roads are a good measure of the health of an economy and appraisal of government performance. This, according to him, is more so with respect to roads which, he said, cannot be hidden from public glare as observers can decipher whether or not the roads are in good condition.
Against this background, he stated that keen observers would acknowledge that over the past few years especially, there has been a steady and marked improvement in the condition of Federal roads and highways nationwide.
Given the strong nexus between the condition of roads and economic growth, the Permanent Secretary said all stakeholders need to support FERMA to enable it continue the pivotal work it is doing to grow the nation’s economy. Dr. Kigbu said the current political will and policy support for the Agency will be sustained and enhanced to enable it continue its good works.
As the chief administrator of the Federal Ministry of Works, which supervises FERMA, the Permanent Secretary pledged his support for the policies and programmes of the Agency.
Earlier in his brief to the Permanent Secretary, the Managing Director/CEO of the Agency, Engr. Gabriel C. Amuchi, reeled out major policies, programmes and strategies his management initiated which led to the generally good and improved outlook of Federal roads and high public approval rating.
These include a swift and comprehensive assessment of routes by the current management upon assumption of duties in 2011, to determine their needs and what strategy best suited each route improvement and maintain-wise, introduction of Rapid Road Recovery programme, establishment of preventive maintenance, road surveillance and monitoring mechanisms to ensure roads in fair and good conditions are prevented from developing cracks, potholes and craters, as well setting up the public works scheme in conjunction with the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), which has engaged over 7, 000 youths from communities abutting major Federal roads nationwide, to carry out various road maintenance tasks.
Amuchi also stated that the Agency is humbled and encouraged by the encomiums, accolades and awards it is receiving from within and outside the country, arguing that these challenges the Agency to continue on the path of sustained maintenance of Federal highways and roads. Among such awards are:
Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group award as The Most Outstanding Public Agency in 2013.
Dr. Kenneth Kaunda African Leadership award for marked improvement on Nigeria’s roads infrastructure (South Africa).
Award in Outstanding Performance by the Engineering Forum of Nigerian in the United Kingdom.
Citation on Excellence by Governor of Maryland, Maryland, Baltimore USA.
Leadership Award by the Constituency for Africa (CFA) Washington, USA.
Leadership Excellence Award in Infrastructure by African Forum in Scotland.
The FERMA MD/CEO also called for the support of all stakeholders, including political leaders, policy makers, transport owners and workers, as well as the general public in its quest to sensitise Nigerians to adopt a good maintenance culture for roads as well as avoiding wrong and harmful use of the roads to enable them last longer.
Maryam M. Sanusi (Mrs.)
5th December, 2014