The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says Nigeria needs emergency action to guarantee a rapid turnaround of the deplorable road network in the country.
Fashola stated this while speaking with newsmen during the assessment of the deplorable condition of the 96-kilometre Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa road on Tuesday evening.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the minister’s convoy had to use a bush path to traverse the persistent traffic gridlock which often left many articulated vehicles and heavy trucks stranded for days.
The report also said the journey from Jebba to Ilorin, which is less than 100 kilometres, lasted four hours while many of the vehicles suffered malfunction due to the logjam.
“What the nation needs now is an emergency action, not declaration of emergency.Fashola said urgent action must be taken to rehabilitate the road which he described as one of Nigeria’s “critical and strategic economic roads.”
“We have declared too many emergencies. This is the time to take emergent and sensible action.
“The National Assembly should fast track the passage of the budget so that we can address the ugly situation of our roads.
“This is intolerable for the ordinary people because their businesses and sources of livelihood depend on this; so, this can’t continue.”
Fashola also called for an amendment of the procurement law to increase the percentage of mobilisation for road contracts to enable contractors deliver completed projects without delay.
He argued for regular assessment of contracts to check wastage and abuse.