Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) have mapped out strategies to ensure that the roads are better and safer for commuters who will be travelling during the Christmas period.
The Corps Marshal of FRSC and the Managing Director of FERMA, Boboye Oyeyemi and Nurudeen Rafindadi, respectively, on Thursday, jointly addressed State House correspondents in Abuja where the FRSC boss disclosed that the commission is to deploy about 21,000 personnel with over 1,000 patrol vehicles for patrol operations on different roads during the period.
He said: “Further to the directive of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), FRSC and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), have been working together. We normally forward the FRSC audit report to FERMA so that appropriate maintenance aspect is being taken especially at very critical areas.
“For the end of the year patrols, we have divided the operations into three segments, that is pre-Christmas, post-Christmas and post New Year.
“So, this will stretch from December 15th to January 15th and we are deploying over 21,000 personnel to all critical corridors with over 1,000 patrol vehicles, including recovery vehicles, ambulances and the bikes.
“The country has been partitioned into critical 52 corridors across the country. The focus for the end of the year is that in conjunction with FERMA, FERMA is carrying out palliative measures on all the critical areas on the highways to ensure a free flow of traffic.
“Our principle responsibility during this period is to ensure a free flow of traffic, that could mean that as you are travelling, you may likely experience some gridlock in one or two areas in the cause of the construction work going on.
“So, we are not talking about enforcement, we are talking about the issue of getting the travellers getting home safely.”
Oyeyemi revealed that the FRSC is talking with the military authorities to relax the checkpoints along the highways to allow for smooth movement of people during the Yuletide.
“On military checkpoints, we are taking it up with the chief of defense staff so that this can relax a bit at the peak period but we can not jeopardize what the military is doing in terms of security but we will work with them,” he said.
In his remark, Rafindadi said 353 critical federal roads have been identified to be given palliative measures during the period.
He said consequent upon the federal government directive that roads which are mostly used by commuters during the festive season should be made motorable and comfortable to ensure safe passage and avoid the usually occurring perennial traffic gridlocks, there has been a series of coordination between the ministry of works, FERMA, FRSC.
According to him, the bulk of this work has been allocated between the department of construction rehabilitation of the ministry of works and FERMA.
He added: “In order to realize this goal, the agency which has been assigned 16 very critical and prominent roads that need to be addressed immediately within the period, has put in place an implementation plan for the maintenance and repair of these identified federal roads as well as other roads that are frequently used by motorists especially during this period even the roads that are outside the ministries jurisdiction.
“Efforts have been made towards deployment of resources and personnel for the repair of these roads that have been assigned to FERMA.”
The FERMA boss revealed that some of the agency’s field officers are already engaging workers for direct labour “and those roads that we identified and agreed with the ministry, we designate into two priorities.”
He said: “Priority one, a lot of the work are concentrated around 16 major routes. They include: Oyo-Ibadan road in Ogun State, Minna-Tegina road in Niger State, Sheda -Abaji road on the FCT/Kogi State, Abaji-Kotonkarfe road in Kogi State, Itakpe -Federal College of Education Road around Okene in Kogi State, Agbor-Asaba road in Delta State, sections along Benin -Warri road in Delta State, Lokoja-Ajaokuta road in Kogi State, Itobe-Ayangba-Ankpa -Otukpa road in Kogi State, Uyo-James town road in Akwa Ibom State, Ogoja -Katsina Ala road in Cross River State, Biu road in Gombe state, Damaturu-Mauduguri road in Yobe and Borno State, Bauchi-Jos -Akwanga roads in Plateau and Nasarawa States, Bauchi-Potiskum road in Bauchi and Yobe State; Katsina – Jibia road in Katsina State.”
He noted that in addition to these roads there are other arterial roads that are frequently used especially during the holidays season, to which personnel and resources have been deployed, saying, “arrangement are been made to move quickly from the first and second week of December.”
Some of these roads, he said, include: Onitsha dual carriage way, Abakaliki -Ogoja-Ikom roads, Katsina Ala-Zakibiam-Ukari road, Akwanga-Lafia – Makurdi road, Akwaga-Keffi -Abuja road, Ibadan -Ilesha dual carriage way, Akure -Owo-Eluku road, Owo -Akumgba -Ibilo-Okene road, and Kabba -Amuwo road.”
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