News Column

Onolememen Rolls Out Plans for Effective Road Management

May 26, 2014

Patrick Ugeh

The Government of President Goodluck Jonathan is on an irreversible mission to ensure that Nigerian roads are not only better and safer, but also comparable to roads in the developed parts of the world, Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, said yesterday. Toward this end, he disclosed that the ministry was in the process of establishing a Road Asset Management System (RAMS) with assistance from the World Bank.

When in place, he stated, it would be a Decision Support System that would create a database on the federal highways such as traffic, axle loading, road conditions, right of way, among others and enable the ministry to plan, budget and prioritise its projects scientifically. This, he noted, would lead to improved performance, monitoring and value for money at all times. Speaking at the 2014 edition of the Pilot Newspapers/Newsworld Leadership forum in Abuja, Onolememen said: "The ministry is in the process of rolling out a Right of Way management and enforcement template that will guarantee the longevity of federal roads nationwide.

"As we progress with the transformation of the road sector, I call for the understanding and co-operation of all Nigerians to support the sincere desire of the President Jonathan administration to bequeath better and safer roads to Nigerians, not only to serve as a veritable tool for economic empowerment, but also a tool for enhanced national integration." Onolememen however lamented the challenges faced in the management of our roads due to road abuse, "With the enormous resources the Federal Government is putting into the development of roads across the country, it is pertinent to draw your attention to some of the social challenges we have had to contend with since assumption of duty in the road sector.

"Axle load of trucks beyond acceptable tonnage on our highways, indiscriminate cutting across the highways, burning of tyres on the roads, erection of bumps on our roads, destruction of our road furniture, encroachment on our right of ways, etc are issues that attract sanction by Government.

"We enjoin all Nigerians to desist from all forms of road abuse." He however announced that the Federal Ministry of Works recorded some progress in its efforts to reform the road sector. "I am glad to inform you that the two Road Sector Reform Bills (i.e. the Federal Road Authority and the National Road Fund) have been presented to the Federal Executive Council and are being reviewed by a Cabinet Committee of Council. I am certain that the draft bills will soon be approved and transmitted to the National Assembly for further consideration and enactment into Law. When this happens (and I know it will), the road sector in Nigeria would have been put on the path of sustainable growth.

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Source: AllAfrica

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