Senate urges Nigerian gov’t to repair federal roads, address increase in airfares

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Senate urges Nigerian gov’t to repair federal roads, address increase in airfares

The Senate has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to urgently declare a state of emergency on the nation’s federal roads.

The upper chamber, also urged the federal government to immediately make good its indebtedness to the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA).

The Senate said this was to enable the agency carry out its primary responsibility of rehabilitating federal roads, especially in the face of the astronomical increase in airfares.

The resolutions followed a Point of Order raised by Gershom Bassey (PDP-Cross River) during Tuesday’s plenary.

Senator Bassey raised the matter to draw the attention of the senators to the increase in airfare and the deplorable state of Nigerian roads.

Rising under Order 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Orders, Mr Bassey lamented that local airfares in Nigeria had risen by 63 per cent in response to a spike in the price of aviation fuel and attendant cost of operation.

According to him, the rise in airfare has pegged the minimum Economy Class ticket at around N80,000 for travellers buying a one-hour, one-way economy tickets.

He expressed worry that the increase in airfares would increase the pressure on the neglected and dilapidated Nigerian roads and further worsen their state.

He further noted that FERMA had a budgetary approval of just 20 per cent of the funds the agency required for the rehabilitation of about 35,000km of federal roads in 2022.

Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over plenary passed all the prayers of the motion.

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