Nigerian Governors with VO Osinbajo
Governors of the 36 states of the federation on Thursday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to hand over some of the federal roads to states.
They made this demand at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja during a 6-hour meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
The state chief executives said they were highly concerned about the deplorable state of federal roads.
They argued that no amount of national budgets could be sufficient to fix the number of roads being handled by the Federal Government.
Briefing State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting, Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi said the Nigerian Governors Forum had agreed to write President Buhari to ask him to proffer ways they could participate in fixing federal roads.
Umahi said they were also demanding that some of the budgeted funds for federal road projects be given to the states to enable them fix those roads.
Umahi also stated that after a discovery that roads collapse after six months of repairs due to overloading, the NEC had mandated the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to “Come up with strategies to replace the weight of the trucks plying the roads fingered as the major cause of road collapse.”
“We identified that overloading is one of the major factors because in the road designs, you use an axial load. Most of the times, you don’t use more than an axial load of 35 tonnes, but a lot of our trucks carrying loads of fuel, carry 45 tonnes, 60 tonnes, 70 tonnes and that is a major concern to state governors.”
Kwara State Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed said despite being faced with the challenge of paying salaries, states could help in fixing federal roads through a Public-Private Partnership arrangement.