Arguments Trail National Roads Fund Bill

Arguements Trail National Roads Fund Bill Nigerians may have to prepare for an increase in the pump price of petrol if the National Roads Fund Bill is passed as being considered by the House of Representatives.

The technical committee set up by the committee is proposing a fuel levy which will serve as the main source of revenue for the roads fund.

However, the members also received a report which highlights the dangers of an increase in fuel pump price as the main source of revenue for the fund.

The minority report is proposing commuter service charges, toll bridges and other sources of revenue for the roads fund.

Nigeria has 195,000 kilometers of roads out of which about 18% are federal roads.

While most of the roads are in urgent need of repairs, it has been estimated that funds needed for such repairs may not be met by budgetary allocations.

The committee has now stated that they would consider both reports and come up with a decision on how the proposed Nigerian Roads Fund Bill can be funded

Ogun Govt Begins 70-meter Setback Enforcement Along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

Lagos-Ibadan expressway, grid-lockThe Ogun State government has commenced the enforcement of the 70 metres setback along the Lagos Ibadan expressway, with the evacuation of illegal structures and shanties around the Kara market.

Leading men and officers of the state ministries of Urban and Planning and Ministry of Environment, the commissioners in charge of the ministries maintained that the decision was necessary in order to restore sanity back to the area.

While asking residents and business owners along that axis to comply with the new development, they, however, affirmed the readiness of the government to enforce the state’s environmental law

“Over and over again, there have been serious incursion on the natural setback that our roads suppose to have. For example, the Federal Government has 45 metres while the state has 25 metres setback which is 70 metres from the median but consistently, this has been violated. If you have observed, this road, you see disused vehicles, shanties and illegal structures just like there are no rules and regulations.

“We are embarking on this essentially to restore sanity on this road and this whole areas. It is not limited here. We will keep going down.

“This is the continuation of the Urban Renewal Programme of the administration particularly at this border town in Isheri.

“If you you remember we were here last year for what we tagged Operation Green Ogun. So, it is the continuation of that programme which is aimed at reclaiming the setback and bringing some sense of order to the chaotic situation we are having here,” the commissioner for environment said.

As a result of this and the need to enforce a better environment, as an emerging economy, the government is embarking on the reclamation of the 70 metre setback, insisting that it would punish persons that violate the law.

“When it is absolutely necessary, we will not hesitate to shut down any erring organisation that contravene and encourage this bad behaviour. So, as we go along, if there is a need to make arrest, we will do so.

“About five minutes ago, you saw the leadership of the Kara market discussing with us. They are cooperating with us,” she added.

The southwest Nigerian state is the gateway to many parts of the country and the Lagos-Ibadan expressway remains the entry point to the state. Over time, this axis has continued to witness uncontrolled development with shanties and illegal structures taking compulsory up setback.

Governor Ayade Asks NDDC To Execute Projects In Cross River

NDDC, Ayade, Cross-riverGovernor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade, has appealed to the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), to faithfully execute all the projects it allocated to the state in the 2016 budget.

The Governor made the appeal on Tuesday, at the Government House in Calabar, when the Senate Committee on the Niger Delta and the NDDC directors led by the Acting Managing Director, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, paid him a courtesy visit.

He was represented by the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, who said that the state deserved sympathy because it was disadvantaged among the Niger Delta states.

The governor’s plea came just as the government is considering to begin work on Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene-Aba Road in Cross River State which had been in a poor state.

 

While the River State Governor is asking for more projects in the state, the 127.6 kilometer long Lagos–Ibadan Expressway, a major route to the northern, southern and eastern parts of Nigeria also craves for attention.

The contractor, Julius Berger, may have returned to site but the impact of rehabilitation said to be ongoing, is yet to be fully felt.

Rail transportation has also been a major craving as it would serve as an alternative in reducing the current pressure on Nigerian roads.

In June, the Minister for Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi disclosed that the proposed Lagos-Ibadan segment of Lagos-Kano rail line and the Port Harcourt- Calabar project, would be ready and operational within the next two and half years when the administration would be rounding up its four-year term.

So far, the government through the Minister Of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, claims it has released 420 billion Naira into the system, with plans to add another 350 billion Naira.

That, according to the Minister, makes 770 million Naira already channeled into capital projects, especially in the works, defense, transportation, interior, power and agriculture sectors.

She also disclosed that the administration was working on raising $1 billion Eurobond and the proceeds for this, would be used only for capital projects.

Government Committed To Reconstructing Oshodi-Apapa Road – Amoye

Professor Sylvester AmoyeThe Nigerian government is committed to reconstructing the Oshodi-Apapa expressway to ensure that the relevance of the road to the economy is not truncated, a government official said on Monday.

A Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Professor Sylvester Amoye, said that the government had started work on the road that had been abandoned for years.

“It was in a very bad shape. Two years ago we just could not move until a team of Federal Government and Lagos State Government came together to try to move trucks and tankers out of the road.

“We had to put all security agents on the road and it cost the Lagos State government 94 million Naira to clear the road in a period of one week. The Federal Government agreed to reimburse Lagos 50 million Naira out of the 94 million Naira.

“The road is vital to the economy of this country because of the Port and the government would do its best to make the road good for vehicles’ use,” he said

Relocating the tankers had been a major issue, hampering work on the road but Professor Amoye said that the Federal Government (FG) had built a trailer park opposite the Tin Can Island with a capacity to hold, temporarily, 320 trailers.

He said that the impression that the FG was not doing anything about the road was wrong, insisting that after an agreement, which will enhance self discipline, was reached with tanker drivers and other stakeholders, the tankers on the road had been cleared voluntarily by the tanker drivers without any cost on the FG.

Several times, roads are abandoned in a state because it falls in the purview of the Federal Government, but Professor Amoye said that the FG had to reach an agreement with the state government before it would begin work on any road in a state.

He said that the road would be fixed but did not give a time frame for the work. For over two years now, the road work had started but has not been completed.

As much as the government is working on the road, there have been calls for the government to consider using rail system to transport petroleum products from Lagos to other parts of Nigeria to ease the pressure on the roads.

FERMA To Rehabilitate Major Roads Before New Year

The Federal Government has earmarked 35,000 kilometres of road for rehabilitation between now and the end of the year 2013.

Addressing journalists on plans for the yuletide, the Managing Director of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, Mr Gabriel Amuchi, explained that the government is rehabilitating strategic roads that are always busy during the yuletide.

Among the roads set for rehabilitation are the Abuja-Lokoja road, Enugu 9th mile-Oturkpo road, and the Port Harcourt-Umuahia road.

Amuchi added that a monitoring committee has been set up to check abuses on federal roads.

 

Former Commissioner Insists Abia Government Is Working

A former Commissioner of Commerce of Abia state, Samson Orji, has countered claims that the Abia state government led by Governor Theodore Orji is not working as indigenes continue to complain of infrastructural decay.

Orji whoa on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, while defending the state government called for a ‘comparative analysis’ which would examine the previous condition of the state’s infrastructure.

“Aba has improved tremendously,” adding that over 80% of the roads have been ‘handled’.

He denied allegations of lack of infrastructural developments, deplorable state of roads in Aba, the Abia state capital.

He accused detractors of trying to pave way for the governor’s opponents.

He added that Governor Orji commissioned 12 roads in the year 2012.

“I know that some guys, because of the season we are entering into, the system throws up a number of characters who would be willing to cast aspersions on the sitting governor in order to make way for the opponents”

He said their criticisms were without facts.

He read out a list of 53 roads, which he said have been ‘asphalted’ including ones which fall under the federal government’s jurisdiction.

“The state government with its meager resources is still tackling these without any refunds yet” he said, adding that, “if nobody commends us, we commend ourselves”

He could not provide information on all the roads that the indigenes have complained about but he added that “most of the strategic roads have been handled”.

If they are not on-going, they have been completed,” he said.

He requested that a verification tour be conducted in order to ascertain the truthfulness of his position.

FEC Approves Contract For South South–North East Link Road

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the contract for the rehabilitation of the Calabar-Ugep-Ogoja-Katsina Ala Road.

The Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda told State House Correspondents after the council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, that the contract was awarded in 2009 to address the deteriorating state of the road.

He said the road which has been extended to cover the extension that was not covered in the initial contract will have an extra cost of N2.9 million.

The road is said to be very important as the only link between south- south and the north eastern part of the country.

18 people killed in Abuja-Lokojo Expressway bus crash

At least 18 people died when two buses collided head-on Wednesday along the Abuja-Lokoja Highway.

Nine others sustained serious injuries, a spokesperson of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said.

The accident happened along the Kwali-Gwagwalada road early on Wednesday, when a public bus lost control and rammed into another bus travelling in the opposite direction.

All but one of the 18 passengers of the first bus, including the driver, died on the spot.

A total of 96 people, including 10 children, were involved in the crash.

The FRSC has urged Nigerian motorists to avoid unnecessary night journeys.

The Kwali-Gwagwalada-Lokoja route, linking the north to the rest of the country, is considered particularly dangerous as many people lose their lives here each year.


The road is being expanded to make it safer, but construction work has dragged on for years.

Police to collaborate with NURTW

Members of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) have been challenged to assist the police in curbing the spate of violence in the country

The Inspector General of Police Mr Mohammed Abubakar, threw down the gauntlet at a meeting with the transport workers in Abuja, to explain how they can collaborate with security agencies to ensure the protection of lives and property on the roads.

According to the police boss, the transport workers have turned the motors parks across the nation into criminal spots where hoodlums hide, various illegal drinks and drugs are sold.

He called for caution from the transporters and sought their support and collaboration, fighting the menace in the parks.

The IGP also defended the removal of road blocks on Nigerian roads, saying corrupt policemen used them to harass and exploit Nigerians.

 

Accident on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway kills one

A female pedestrian was crushed to death on Thursday morning by a container that fell from a moving trailer, at the Berger area of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway .

The trailer was heading out of Lagos around 7a.m when it lost one of its tyres, making the driver to lose control of the truck.

As he struggled to regain control of the truck, it tipped over to its right side.

As the truck fell, it landed on the woman, who was walking beside the road, in search of a commercial bus to her destination.

The unnamed woman died instantly while a gridlock formed on the outbound Lagos side of the busy expressway for hours.

Traffic officials are currently at the scene trying to lift the truck and its container with a crane back on the trailer’s tyres.