Nigerians do not make distinction between federal and state roads. They just want roads that are motorable, decent and that will enable them have a safe travel.
The Nigerian roads are in deplorable state and have mostly become death trap from east to west, north to south; just few roads are smooth and motorable. Many avoidable deaths and accidents have been traceable to bad roads.
The response of government at all levels to cries of Nigerians on the need to fix the roads cannot be said to be satisfactory. Now the lawmakers of the House of Representatives had called on the Federal Government to declare state of emergency on dilapitated federal roads in the country. The federal lawmakers urged the Federal Government to immediately initiate measures to rehabilitate federal highways across the nation. They were equally not happy that budgetary allocation for rehabilitation and maintenance of roads were usually less than 45%.
WHAT LED US HERE?
There is no synergy between State and Federal Government in terms of maintaining federal roads across the state. Most roads are bad because maintenance are not forthcoming for years because the state governments are not involved in the awarding of contracts (not saying that the state governments should award the contract but the state governments should be involved in monitoring the contractors). Like Governor Tambuwwal said, "Federal Government should handover federal road to the state government so that they would be in good position to manage those roads". Without good management, we will continue to have bad roads in Nigeria.
Though, some roads within the purview of the state governments to handle are not in compliance level in terms of infrastructure. The state governments are trying their best to maintain those roads.
THE ROAD TRUST FUND (RTF) INITIATIVE
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) rose from its meeting in Abuja with an announcement of approval of setting up a Road Trust Fund (RTF). Under the fund, tax relief would be granted to attract private sector involvement in the provision of good roads across the country. The minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, who made the announcement, explain that the Road Trust Fund (RTF) is expected to mobilize significant capital into road provision which in turn would help to unlock social economic development and promoting inclusive economic growth in the country. Adeosun went on to explain that bringing private investors to fund road provision in exchange for tax credit remains the best option to accelerate road development as Federal Government budgetary allocations to road might not be sufficient for now to fix the numerous dilapidated roads nationwide.
Either in road construction, education or industry, government (federal, state or local) cannot do it alone. People have to come in to assist government; we just have to give back to the people (whom we are earning from). We hope people will see into it. In fact, it is going to help the government and help the people.
The fund is not coming like before, so the government has to look for other ways in maintaining and constructing new roads. Throughout the country, you would see how bad the roads are. Once we have the Trust Fund and people are appealing to the fund, God willing, people will say "let's review this trust fund and see how well we can manage it".
Already, some private firms have identified the roads they may wish to reconstruct. The minister explained that constant contractors would be scrutinized and be approved by the Public Bureau of Procurement (P. B. P.) while the roads would be handed over to the Federal Government upon completion. Adeosun added that the Federal Government may then decide to toll the roads in accordance to National Tolling Policy.