Monday, September 20, 2021

Why Nigerian govt must relinquish federal roads to states – COREN

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, has called for the return of Federal Highways across the country to state governments for effective maintenance.

President of COREN, Kashim Ali, made the call on Friday in Abuja, and justified the recent call by governors to return federal roads to state governments for proper maintenance.

“If I have my way, roads passing through the centre of state capitals should be given to the state governments to own and maintain.

“Not just to maintain, they should own them so that they can make them beautiful and expand them to give them semblance of modern cities because some state capitals look like glorified villages,” he said.

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Mr Ali faulted the withdrawal of federal road maintenance from state governments in 1983, adding that the roads were better under the states.

He said up until early 1980s, the federal highways were maintained by states and every year the Federal Government provided construction equipment for their maintenance.

According to him, during the period, the Federal Government provides scrapers, graders, tippers and even funds for the purchase of petrol, diesel and kerosene.

“Even though most of the roads then were single carriage way, they were efficient; you could drive without fear of running into deep portholes.

“That was the situation but the decision to change the procedure came in 1983.

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“The then Anambra State Government was accused of diverting the materials provided by the Federal Government to the state roads and left the federal roads in the state in a dilapidated condition.

“Because of that, there was a policy change that the Federal Government will begin to maintain its roads,” he said.

Mr Ali said the erring state should have been sanctioned, noting that the consequence of the reversal was what led to the current deplorable state of Nigerian roads.



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