Nigerian Roads Are Not As Bad As People Claim, Says Fashola

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The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that Nigerian roads were not as bad as many people paint it to be; instead, he stated that the roads were in need of adequate maintenance.

However, he pointed out that some of the roads had outlived their design life, while some still within their design life and others were being built.

These were stated by the minister in his keynote address at the United Nations-sponsored capacity building programme for the Federal Road Safety Corps, which was made available to newsmen in Abuja by his ministry.

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According to him, the roads that had lived beyond their design life should have been replaced and rebuilt, but they had not. One of the roads which falls into this category , Fashola said, is the Calabar-Itu-Odukpani road.

The minister stated,

“They were built in the 1970s, and not only have they outlived their design life, they have had to deal with tonnage and capacities well beyond what their design intended. Can such a road be truly expected to stay intact and deliver a pleasant motoring experience?

“Thankfully, these type of roads are now receiving attention under President Buhari, as the Calabar-Itu-Odukpani, Gombe-Biu, Ilorin-Jebba and other roads that fall within this category are being awarded for reconstruction, along with the third class of roads, which are just being built.”

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Speaking in the second category of Nigerian roads, the minister stated that the roads had been victims of overloading, right of way abuse, and lack of maintenance resulting to apparent expected depreciation.

He said,

“Members of the public must know that roads are depreciating assets. They do not last forever and require regular maintenance and, with time, replacement, if they are to serve their intended purpose. These factors of abuse and lack of maintenance combine to reduce the quality of our motoring experience on the roads.

“With this background, I will now pose the question: How bad are our roads? Some have repeatedly said, ‘All the roads are bad.’ That is not true. We have good parts and bad parts caused by abuse and lack of maintenance.”

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Fashola stated that many citizens, some of whom had not used the roads, readily describe Nigerian roads as a death trap.

He said, “I undertook a tour of our roads earlier this year to see things for myself. We went by road and travelled in two buses, driving for at least 12 hours every day. We left at 8am daily and drove until 8pm at the least. On one occasion, we drove for 18 hours, from 8am to 2am the following day.

“We drove through different sections of roads that had outlived their design life, those that are within their design life with failures in some cases, and those that are currently under construction.”

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