The Senate has directed its committees on Petroleum Downstream and National Planning to investigate within two weeks why the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency failed to remit five per cent commission it charged on every litre of fuel to FERMA for the rehabilitation of federal roads across the country.
The resolution was sequel to a motion at Tuesday’s plenary by Sen. Gershom Bassey (PDP-Cross River) on “The Deplorable State of Nigeria’s Federal Roads”.
Moving the motion Bassey said that the deplorable state of the federal roads had become a national shame and an unnecessary embarrassment as there was hardly any part of the country that could boast of good federal roads.
He said that the Senate was concerned that scores of innocent people were kidnapped by bandits, robbed, mutilated and killed daily in avoidable accidents on account of bad federal roads.
“The nation’s economy suffers incalculable losses resulting from poor productivity as immeasurable man-hours is lost in deplorable federal roads.
“Nigerian federal roads have continually failed to meet the international standards that provides for a four lane divided road featuring landscaped islands and separated bike and pedestrian trails on both sides of the roadway.”
The lawmaker further said that federal highways in the country required the sum of N215 billion to revamp 3, 500 kilometres of federal roads every year for eight to 10 years for a total rehabilitation of existing federal highways.
“Section 14(1)(h) of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (Amendment Act, 2007) provides that 5 per cent user charge pump price of petrol, diesel and which 40 per cent will accrue to FERMA.
“And 60 per cent be utilised by the established State Roads Maintenance Agencies.
“The Senate is disturbed that right from 2007, Section 14(1)(h) and 14(1)(I) of the FERMA (Amendment) Act has been observed in breach by the PPRA and the Minister of Transportation thereby depriving FERMA of huge revenue for road maintenance.
“The Senate is further disturbed that the 5 per cent user charge pump price is already provided for in the current pump price of petrol and diesel but PPRA has refused to remit the funds to FERMA for road maintenance as stipulated by law.”