Palliative measures on Nigerian roads are paying off – Fashola


Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari (2nd left), Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN (right), Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige (2nd right), Managing Director/CEO, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr. Uche Orji (left) and others during the inspection of the ongoing construction of Main Works and Associated Infrastructure of the 2nd Niger Bridge in Delta and Anambra States on Tuesday, 8th March 2022. 

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN has said the Federal Government’s ember months palliative measures on fixing Nigerian roads are paying off.

Fashola made the remark in Abuja during a performance review meeting of stakeholders on the 2021 Ember Months and Post Rainy Season Palliative Works on Nigerian Roads.

Fashola said that the Ministry and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) yearly undertake routine palliative repairs of federal roads across the country during the ember months and post rainy season to facilitate easy movement of travelers, motorists, goods and services.

Fashola reiterated that different seasons bring different challenges and so the plan for every season is based on the report available and with such feedback things would be done better.

“Seasons of the year bring different challenges, so what works for one season is not going to work for another season and we must remember this as public servants.  It is with plan we can make things better. Things don’t happen by accident, we can control how they happen with good planning,” he said.

The Minister explained that ember months is not a period to toy with. It is a period when most things begin to happen naturally and based on that the roads become so busy which compels the Ministry and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency to carry out palliative works on the roads to reduce accidents and other ugly incidents on the roads. 

“So, let’s remember what ember months is, it is months indicating clearly that the year is coming to an end.  And as the year ends certain things begin to happen naturally.  People still travel, there are a lot of social and religious gatherings and movements, people consume a lot more items than they normally consume and the roads will be busy,” he added.

Fashola stated that with the ember months palliative measures on busy roads to ensure seamless travelling by the general public, accidents rate according to reports by the Federal Road Safety Commission reduced by 9% which is a positive development.

“There is an indication that accidents rate has reduced with about 9% and that is a very positive thing, which means there were less deaths and loss of property,” he said.

The Minister tasked every road user to be conscious of the fact that the road is a shared asset and can only last when used properly and no asset will last if it is abused.  He urged the truck drivers to avoid parking on road shoulders because it reduces its life span.

He, however, stated that road palliatives are not the final answer but construction and rehabilitation and that the Ministry has repaired and constructed many roads and still doing more across the states of the Federation.

The Minister charged contractors on Nigerian roads to use proper road signages at all the construction sites and to ensure that standards are not compromised. He warned that any contractor not complying with the standards must be sanctioned according to the law.

In their remarks at the event,  the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) representative, Deputy Corps Marshal Operations, Kayode Fanola, the National President Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO),  Yusuf Lawal Othman and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) representative, Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Anthony Asogwa, commended the Ministry and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency for the laudable achievements on roads maintenance palliatives across the country during the ember months as they helped curb accidents rate.

Earlier, the Director Highways Construction and Rehabilitation in the Ministry, Engr. Folorunso Esan, rmade a detailed presentation on the various Highways across the country where the ember months and post rainy season palliative measures were carried out.

Engr. Esan stated that the Federal Government released the needed funds to carry out the palliative works on the affected roads.

The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Engr. Nuruddeen Rafindadi also corroborated the fact that the Federal Government provided the needed funds for the execution of the repair works on the affected roads.