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FERMA petition FG to release 5% fuel tax to fix roads

By on January 25, 2013

Engr. Ezekiel Olajide Adeniji

The Federal Road Maintenance Agency,FERMA has petitioned the Federal Government to implement the five per cent fuel charge intended for the maintenance of federal and state roads nationwide.

FERMA Chairman stated this yesterday while speaking to reporters in Abuja; he said the implementation would provide the resources to fix the roads, which are in a bad condition best described as deplorable, adding that the roads have been responsible for road accidents causing the untimely death of many Nigerians.

According to the Chairman, the 5 per cent fuel tax was approved by the FG since 2007 but has not been implemented ever since, adding that 40 per cent of the realisable fund will go to FERMA and the remaining 60 per cent would be shared to state governments to effect repairs on roads within the state.

“The law was passed in 2007 which allowed FERMA to have 5 per cent fuel charge of petroleum products. From this amount, 60 per cent was meant to go to the state governments, while 40 per cent comes to FERMA.

“But state governments that want to benefit from the 60 per cent must have an established road maintenance agency. They have been informed and they are fully complying so that they too can be maintaining their own roads. This will take off as soon as the law is implemented.

“As a matter of fact, a prominent human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) has gone to court to compel the implementation of the policy. He joined the Federal Government, FERMA, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the suit to get them to release money for the implementation because the law has been passed.

“Once the money comes, the state governments would be able to do their business effectively. There’s going to be a measure put in place to monitor the way they spend their money on maintenance and our roads will be better for it,” he added.

The FERMA boss stated the commitment of his department to continue with the maintenance of the Federal Government’s 34, 120-kilometre road network across the country with the use of the agency’s allocation.

He called on state governments to do the same pending when the 5 per cent allocation would be released.

“It will amount to nothing if we do the roads that belong to the Federal Government and the states refuse to do theirs, because most of the roads are inter-woven. So we are doing our part and we hope that the states will do theirs,” Adeniji stated.