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Friday, December 2, 2022

Neglected Federal Roads in Ondo

INFRASTRUCTURE such as good road is essential for efficient functioning of societies in all parts of the world, including Nigeria. Good roads  facilitate people and goods movements from place to place. Therefore, the recognition of the important role of good roads to the society motivated governments all over the world including Nigeria to  devote a lot of resources to road construction and improvement of existing ones. Unfortunately, a survey or cursory observation of federal roads in Ondo state  reveal deplorable conditions and the discovery   that the federal government in recent years has not  constructed any of its roads within the state as obtainable in other states.

         WE took cognisance  of this unwholesome unacceptable development which has also become a serious source of concern to residents and motorists in the state alike. The deplorable condition of the major federal roads in the state is visible in Akure-Ado Ekiti road while contract for reconstruction was awarded over two years ago without any appreciate work done. Others are the busy Owo-Ikare-Ajowa road, Owo-Ifon road, Ita Ipele- Isua-kabba road among others.

         THE  actual fact is that some of these roads such as Ita Ipele-Isua road have been abandoned by  motorists because of its terribly bad state and has become  den of robbers, kidnappers, bandits and killer herders. The core issue of concern is why the neglect of federal roads in Ondo state especially when federal roads are being attended to in other states and what are  the consequences of abandoning federal roads in deplorable condition in the state.

        THE  reason for the neglect of federal, roads in Ondo state is difficult to discern but it smacks essentially of unnecessary discrimination by those in charge. Discrimination because while only two of the federal roads in the state have been approved for reconstruction, this is not the case in other states. In other states,  between five and 12 federal roads have been earmarked for reconstruction or rehabilitation. For instance, about 15 roads were approved for Kwara State, 10 for Oyo,  11 for Lagos  among others. Perhaps, the neglect of federal roads in Ondo State is  as a result of lack of pressure from the representatives of the state at the  National  Assembly and may be the state is not considered important by the federal government. 

ALSO, the emergency intervention on road projects being undertaken in other states are largely nonexistence in Ondo State. Thus, most of the federal roads in the state are in deplorable state. The case of the  Akure-Ado Ekiti road is very pathetic to the extent that Governors of the two adjoining states were to secure loans to reconstruct the road against the  general practice where the federal government takes full responsibility for the road. The excuse for not constructing or rehabilitating federal roads in the state has been blamed on  paucity of fund and yet work are going on in other states. Of course, while inadequate fund has always been an issue and will continue to be an issue till eternity because of human nature, visible efforts are being made to construct and repair federal roads in other parts of the country. The neglect of Federal roads in Ondo state is a subject of conjecture that needs to be unraveled.

SUFFICE to state that the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing is not treating the state fairly  in terms of road  reconstruction and repairs. There are clear evidence of inequality in the award of road projects that allowed federal roads to suffer utter neglect and hence their deplorable condition in Ondo State.

THE  consequences of the bad state of federal roads in Ondo state is grave and  with serious danger. Some of these roads have been abandoned and become the dens of criminals including kidnappers, armed robbers, killer herdsmen among others. The roads have become death traps with frequent accidents and  loss of lives and  severe damage to vehicles. The situation has spikek up cost of transportation of goods and people on the roads.

WE  thus plead with representatives of the state at the national level to be alive to their responsibilities and take on the gauntlet especially the legislators in National Assembly. The State government should not relent on her efforts to ensure that federal  roads in the state are fixed, while the new Minister of State for Transportation should use his good offices to see to how these roads could be fixed.

THE  federal government should not abdicate its duty of providing good roads to the citizenry and should endevour to spread road  projects to all parts of the country without favour to avoid lopsided development and promote parity in development in the country. The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) should rise up to its responsibility of maintaining federal roads in the state.

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