In the letter, President Buhari indicated that the six geopolitical zones of the country were represented in the board.
But the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, raised a constitutional point of order as he objected to the chairmanship of the board.
He cited nepotism and drew the attention of the Senate to previous appointments of the President where the leadership comprised of one section of the country, saying such is contrary to the Federal Character.
The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) recently commenced repair of the Afor-Enyiogugu Sam Mbakwe airport road in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State.
This is in line with the directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari to commence a 12-week rapid intervention and repairs of the Federal highway across the country.
While inspecting the ongoing construction at the site, the Federal road maintenance engineer in Imo state, Emeka Maduagwu, said the agency is taking advantage of the dry season and the directive by the Federal Government to ensure that all critically failed sections of the federal roads are fixed within 12 weeks.
He said the agency is not resting on its oars to make federal roads safe and motorable for Nigerians.
The busy Afor-Enyiogugu- Sam Mbakwe Airport road before FERMA’s intervention was a death trap for motorists especially during rainy season as cars were usually trapped in the flooded road.
It’s now a changed story as that the Federal Government directed the FERMA to fix some critically failed section of federal high ways across the country, including this road.
Maduagwu assured the people of the area that the bitter experience which usually occurs on the road during the rainy season will not happen again as the engineers took time to study the topography of the area before embarking on the rehabilitation.
The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) in Imo state has commenced vegetation control and desilting of concrete line drains and hydraulic structures along federal roads in Imo state.
The Federal Road Maintenance engineer in Imo state, Emeka Maduagwu, said the exercise is part of the agency’s plan to continue to maintain federal highways and make it motorable to road users across the country.
He also noted that the agency has employed the services of Youths in communities where the roads are being maintained, in order to allow for speedy completion of the project.
Maduagwu stated that the agency is carrying out so many rehabilitation works which cut across areas such as the Eyiogugu-Mbaise-Ngorokpala Federal High Way, Owerri-Okigwe Road and Owerri-Onitsha road.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Tunde Lemo, as the Chairman of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency.
The Assistant Director of Press in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Nakorji, disclosed this in a statement.
Apart from approving Mr Lemo’s appointment, President Buhari also okayed the appointment of new members of the FERMA Board – all subject to Senate approval.
Those joining the former CBN deputy governor on the board are Nurudeen Rafindadi; Buba Abdullahi; Babagana Aji; Shehu Abdullahi and Loretta Aniagolu; Mujaidu Dako; Vincent Kolawole; Chukwunwike Uzo; Olubunmi Siyanbola; Abdulrazak Ma’aji; Saidu Abdulkadir and Peter Osawe.
President Buhari also reappointed Mr Peter Ewesor as the Managing Director of Nigerian Electricity Management Service Agency.
Mr Ewezor’s reappointment became effective October 3 and gives him one final four-year term in office, in accordance with the provisions of Section 7(3) of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency Act, 2015.
The Federal Government has started repairing part of Lafia-Makurdi highway which was washed away by the flood after the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) did a palliative work on the road less than 48 hours after its collapse.
An official of FERMA, Alao Dauda, disclosed disclosed that the Federal Government will soon begin a permanent solution to the road issue.
Senator Magnus Abe has reacted to the demise of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Francis Odesanya, who died in India after a brief illness.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt and signed by his spokesman, Mr Parry Benson, the lawmaker said he was shocked when he heard about the death of the fine and gallant police officer.
He described the late commissioner as a true professional who carried out his duties with sense of responsibility, commitment and diligence.
Senator Abe, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), regretted that “Mr Odesanya could die at this critical period of our national life when his professional service, competence and capabilities are needed in containing threats to national security and ensuring crime free society”.
He added that the deceased was a patriot who was principled, dogged and brave in fighting crime, stressing that the people of Rivers State would miss his efforts dearly.
The former Secretary to the Rivers State Government condoled with the family of the late police officer for the loss of their bread winner, as well as the government and people of Ogun State.
He prayed that God would give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Death Mr Odesanya’s death was announced by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, in a statement signed by the spokesman for the Police, CSP Jimoh Moshood.
He passed on at Sterling Hospital Ahmedabad-Gujarat in India, aged 56 after a brief illness.
The late Commissioner of Police was enlisted into the Force on February 1, 1986 as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police and rose through the ranks.
The Federal Government has commenced rehabilitation work on the failed portion of the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Road to alleviate the hardship and sufferings experienced by Nigerians who ply the road daily.
Umuahia Ikot Ekpene Road is of major economic importance because of heavy vehicular movement as goods and services from Calabar, Cameroon, Akwa Ibom are transported to other parts of the country daily.
But due to its deplorable state, it has become a source of worry to Nigerian citizens whose vehicles damage at intervals.
Motorists, heavy trucks carrying goods and services are usually stuck on the road for days while resident of the area usually trek or ride on motorcycles in order to get to their respective homes.
Most of the pot holes, due to lack of maintenance, have turned into deep gullies and when it rains, the flood enters into all the buildings and homes located around the road.
Residents living around the Ikwuano axis have also been lamenting over the untold hardship caused by the flooded road that has taken over their houses and farmlands.
Although, the road has received a lot of palliative measures, these have not helped much because it usually collapses after a while due to heavy vehicular movement.
The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) had always blamed the regular collapse on that pressure but the federal government has now heeded the appeal for a permanent solution and has mobilized contractors to site.
The intervention is good news to the residents and their representatives and they have been thankful but not without a call on the contractors and FERMA to do a durable and quality road rehabilitation that would last.
One of the traditional rulers of the area, King Larry Ogbonna, said: “I will not call FERMA to handle the contract for this road; I have said it before. The reason is because the FERMA we have been seeing on this road is a fake FERMA, the real FERMA is in the north.
“But today, we have been assured that this FERMA is original, we will accommodate them but I must warn you that if you are the fake FERMA, please pack your things now because we do not want to see the FERMA people that would use kettle to pour bitumen on the road.
“Please FERMA, the people are begging you to give us a very good job because we have suffered too much in your hand due to shady jobs and instead of repairs, we only see more damages.
“I am begging you as a traditional ruler, because we are peaceful people, we will work with you and anything that you need, please let us know, we will give you every assistance you need for you to give us a very good job.”
We Will Deliver
To drive home the commitment of ensuring a quality road rehabilitation work, Abraham Akange of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) Abia State assured the people that the agency would deliver a durable and quality road.
“The problem of Umuahia Ikot Ekpene Road is that when it was constructed it was not envisaged that it would be carrying as much load as it is carrying now, and the problem we have in this country now is the absence of effective rail transport.
“Haulage mainly is done on the road and the roads are over stretched, and that is the main reason we have been having issues on our federal highways. We pray that the federal government would put more effort in the development of the rail system.
“What we are seeing today is the completion of procurement process, subsequent award to our contractors and hand over of the site to them.
“On our part, what I am promising you is that I would make sure that quality materials are used and the road is well constructed
“This is because FERMA has developed an application to test-run and carry out laboratory test on the materials that we are going to use for the construction work. So I assure you that the materials that would be used on these roads would be subjected to analysis before we allow it to be used on the site.
“The application is a new development that we hope would aid us to prevent the incessant failure or collapse of repaired roads
“On the part of the community, I am appealing to you that what we require is absolute cooperation so that our contractors, equipment would not have issues.
“We appeal for your understanding, hoping that at the end of the project we will all have cause to smile.”
The failed portion of the road that would get attention include, Okwe Ukwu, Ndioro, Umudike junction amongst others.
The Minister of Works, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has stressed the need for the federal government to revisit tolls as a means of raising funds for the maintenance of Nigerian roads.
Fashola was speaking at the public hearing on a legislation seeking to scrap the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and replace it with the Federal Roads Authority.
The minister asked the legislature not to set up a new agency but rather, strengthen the existing agency which has a similar mandate.
“We also welcome the idea of creating a maintenance agency, but we think that all of the recommendations that have been made for maintenance, should be embodied in the agency that the government has already created, FERMA, repeal the existing FERMA law, re-enact it and put all of the new things we want to create inside it,” Fashola advised.
Motorists who ply the Agbor-Uromi road and residents of the communities along that road are calling on the Federal Government to speed up the construction of the road in view of the hardship suffered by users of the road.
Farmers and traders who use the road told Channels Television that they suffered losses during the rainy seasons as they could not evacuate their harvest to the city for sale.
Channels TV visited the community on Ekpon market day and found wares on display. Most of the items were food products from the community farm, but farmers, traders and motorists alike say travelling on the road has been a major challenge.
One Mrs Rachael said: “It affects our business because we don’t see vehicles going to nearby towns easily. They would demand 3,000 to 4,000 naira for a trip that we normally would pay 600 to 1,000.”
Another one, Mr Danladi said: “We are praying the government to do something within this dry season because by next rainy season I don’t think anybody can use this road any longer.”
The Zonal Coordinator of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) South-South 2, Mr Richard Ohre, said that the road has been awarded to a company called Setraco and they were awaiting mobilisation
“That road is awarded for dualization. FERMA does not award road for dualization, we only do maintenance and once it is awarded for dualization by the Federal Ministry of Works we do not go there to do anything.
“For long we have been doing small intervention to make sure that it is motorable but because of funds we cannot even intervene,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Justin Okonobo, has said that the House would invite the contractor to find ways to speed up the road construction.
He said: “As we resume now, we might not be able to invite the Federal Government but we will invite Setraco. Let Setraco tell us what their problems are about getting mobilised.
“FERMA does not have any excuse. FERMA is for maintenance, before Setraco is mobilised they are supposed to provide palliative measures.”
The Kaduna State Government has commenced the rehabilitation of some Federal Government-owned roads in the state capital following the collapse of the roads.
The state government says the intervention is to ensure that road users within the state have accident-free and safe motoring.
The roads which include the Nnamdi Azikwe western by-pass and Ahmadu Bello is being repaired by the Kaduna State Public Works Agency (KAPWA).
The Kagoro junction along the Nnamdi Azikwe western by-pass in the state capital is in a deplorable condition, with some portions of it washed away by the rains, thereby making things difficult for motorists.
The over 20 kilometre road which connects to Zaria, Kano and other neigbouring states in the north had been left unattended to for many years.
There has been excitement among residents and commuters following the commencement of rehabilitation work on the road by the works agency.
The General Manager of the Kaduna State Public Works Agency, Tanimu Abubakar, said that over 100 roads in the state capital, Zaria and Kafanchan will under go similar rehabilitation in order to ease the suffering of commuters.
While commending the state government for the intervention, the residents also appealed to the agency handling the repair work to ensure its speedy completion especially now that the rains have become heavier.
To ensure speedy rehabilitation of the road, youths in the area have also been rendering assistance to the state government officials.