Nigerian Institution of Highway and Transportation Engineers (NIHTE) has appealed to the 10th National Assembly to facilitate President Bola Tinubu’s assent to the Road Sector Reform Bills.
The national chairman of NIHTE, Engr Saidu Hassan, made the call when he led the delegation of the association on a courtesy call to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Babangida Hussaini in Abuja.
He said, “In 2012 a Road Sector Reform Committee was constituted by the Ministry of Works and the committee produced Road Sector Reform Bills that have been passed by the 8th and 9th National Assembly.
“Unfortunately, the bills weren’t assented to by the previous Administration. We therefore urge the Senate to facilitate the Presidential assent to the Road Sector Reform Bills (that is the Federal Road Authority and National Road Fund Bills) which would provide a sound governance structure based on sectoral professionalism as well as create sustainable and robust funding for road development and maintenance in the country.”
The chairman stressed that the institution is working on its position on the concrete pavement policy and promised to submit the report to the Senate Committee in a matter of weeks. He said, “ Rigid Pavement should be encouraged for use at heavily trafficked routes and sections with poor subgrade.
“We enjoined the committee to urge the Ministry of Works to immediately begin to Control Axle loads on our roads and highways by introducing weigh-in-motion systems. The new policy should be subjected to research and professional considerations in collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders across the country.
“We urge the Senate to demand that the Ministry of Solid Mineral accelerate the exploitation of the bitumen reserves in the country through private investors which will help in conserving our foreign exchange and greatly assist us in the provision of good roads in the country at reduced cost.”
He recommended very strongly that the Ministry of Steel urgently complete the Ajaokuta Steel Complex to enable access to local steel production to reduce the cost of concrete pavement construction.
Responding, Senator Hussaini assured the engineers that the committee would collaborate with them to ensure that the road networks across the country were improved.