Unqualified contractors getting road contracts – FERMA cries out

Innocent Raphael

The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) in Kano has decried the trend of road contracts worth millions of Naira, being awarded to some unqualified contractors.

Acting Federal Road Maintenance Engineer in the State, Ali Abdu, disclosed this while appearing before the Senate House Committee on FERMA.

Briefing the lawmakers on the activities of the agency on 2023 contract projects, he noted that sadly, some contractors were not competent, as they didn’t even have a shovel talk more of proper working equipments but get contracts of millions to execute.

He also mentioned that part of the problems the agency faced in monitoring the projects was a lack of operational vehicles, stating that those available were either totally bad or needed replacement of some parts.

Engineer Abdul also disclosed that Federal road across the borders of Kano amounts to 990 kilometres, and while 423 kilometres were in good condition, 502 were in fair condition, with 32km in poor condition and 33 others in terrible states.

He further revealed that whereas 16 contracts were appropriated in the 2023 budget, only one was on given on a Federal road.

The FERMA boss then stated that out of the 16 awarded contracts, six had been completed, five were ongoing, with one contractor reporting for duty but yet to commence work, while four others were yet to report.

Earlier, Engr. Aderemi Abasi Oseni, the Chairman House Committee on FERMA, and other honourable members of the committee engaged the Zonal Directors and Federal Road Maintenance Engineers (FRME) from the North West Zone one; comprising of Kano, Kaduna and Katsina and zone two; comprising Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi of the Agency on their activities.

Engr. Oseni also pledged the committee’s resolve to assisting the continuous operation and actualization of the Agency’s mandate as professionals.

He said, “We are here to see how you are faring. The quality of your presentation and what we saw here physically on site I think there is that opportunity for us to appreciate the quality of Staff that we have in FERMA.

“You have demonstrated competence and have sufficiently proven that we can have hope on you when we come to quality road delivery and where you equally need to be assisted, we have seen that from what you expressed and within the limit and grace of privilege that I have as the Chairman of this agency, we will do our best to compliment what you are doing.”

On his part, the Deputy Chairman of the committee who is also the team leader of the northwest zone, Sadiq Ango Abudullahi, commended the activities of the agency.

“This zone has tried in terms of quality service delivery and we have promised them to help them face some of the challenges through legislation and in line with the legislative agenda we intend to address some of the issues that they are facing”, said Abdullahi.

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