The Governors of the 36 states of the federation have reached an agreement to take over the construction and management of some federal roads under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. The agreement was reached National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday in Abuja.
The National Economic Council (NEC), which is chaired by the Vice President is comprises of the 36 state governors, ministers of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Finance, Budget, National Planning as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Dave Umahi, the Ebonyi State governor, who briefed State House Correspondents at the end of Meeting yesterday in Abuja, said “Council was highly concerned about the failure of our roads, even after fixing them, also lamented that the axial load of more than 35 tonnes trucks carrying mostly fuel and other goods was responsible for the failing highways nationwide.
Directed the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola, to also come up with a strategy to regulate the weight of heavy trucks plying the nation’s roads. The governors are to submit to President Muhammadu Buhari a strategic plan that would guide the handover and management process.
According to the Ebonyi State governor, council members were worried that the highways “collapsed within six months after their fixing. We identified that the over-loading is one of the major factors, because in road design, you take an axial load, most of the time you don’t use an axial load of more than 35 tonnes but we have noticed that a lot of our trucks carrying mostly fuel do 45,60,70 tonnes and that’s a major concern to the state governors.”
Umahi said: “The state governors are very much concerned about these failures. It’s been agitating our minds, and we are soliciting that the Federal Government should give out some of these roads to states to fix through investors and toll them.
“And we believe strongly that in view of the number of roads that is being handled by Federal Government, there would be no amount of budget that can fix them.”
Umahi, was joined at the briefing by the Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu as well as the Director General of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Segun Awolowo. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma.