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Senator from N'Delta decries raises alarm over roads, labels them as death traps

Image result for images for bad road in niger delta of nigeria

The Senate Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) on Wednesday decried the deplorable state of roads in the country.

The Senate Committee Chairman on FERMA, Sen. Magnus Abe, attributed the challenge to lack of maintenance by relevant agencies, including FERMA.

He said the agency’s budget performance was below expectation in spite of the funds appropriated, adding that: “FERMA did not achieve anything in 2016 budget.’’

According to him, the management still lacks sincerity in the discharge of its duties, stressing that: “they should stand up to save the face of the agency from total collapse''

“It may not be your fault entirely for not performing in view of funding challenges, but there are also challenges of sincerity and honesty.’’

The Chairman promised to ensure adequate funding for the agency, while requesting the management to have a clear cut expectation for 2017.

” If we work together, we will be able to change narratives of the agency.’’

FERMA Acting Managing Director, Mr Peter Odeh, said that the series of financial challenges were responsible for the agency’s inability to meet its mandate of road maintenance across the nation in 2016.

He said the agency lacked trained accountants to handle Treasury Single Account(TSA), adding that the agency was almost grounded in 2016 for difficulty in accessing funds appropriated to it.

“The challenges posed by the zero-base budget process and TSA policy, difficulties in accessing funds directly appropriated for direct labour and delay in budget approval which took off in May last year are factors that hamper our activities,’’ he said.

Giving an overview of the budget performance, Odeh said that out of N40.2 billion appropriated in 2016, only N2.2 billion was disbursed, amounting to 32 per cent.(NAN)

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