The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has charged the governors of the 36 states of the Federation to abandon their overzealous and unnecessary call on the Federal Government, FG to take charge of fixing federal roads within their various territories.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran, said “within each of the every states of the federation, majority of the roads under the purview of their governments are in serious and embarrassing conditions that can best be described as despoiled and unattended to.”
The CACOL Leader who was reacting to the recent calls made by some governors to the FG at a meeting of the National Economic Council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja posited that the states have their hands full considering their share of dilapidated roads that are sprawling the country all over.
Apart from rejecting the suggestion, Adeniran added “we oppose the suggestions that the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Raji Fashola has been peddling recently on tolling of roads; a measure which the governors added as a condition to fixing federal roads. Like the Minister, the governors are saying they will fix the roads through investors and toll them. But the country at different points in history has toyed with such ideas and has failed severally including tolling on roads and we remain where we are today.”
“Those suggestions have always come from the neo-liberal perspective of privatization under varied names and have been used by consecutive governments to abdicate the very basic reasons they were instituted for. Tolling of roads is akin to irresponsibly transferring the responsibility of government to the citizens, the tax-payers and the owners of the resources of the country.”
“Also, going by the track record of some former and present governors in terms of the tendency to exploit such arrangements being suggested in terms of corrupt practices and self-aggrandizement, we cannot help but to be adamant in our skepticism as things stand. This may be another avenue for some sleazing governors added with the existing conduits of corruption which they hideously use to corruptly enrich themselves. Charity as they say begins from home, the conditions of our state roads without any iota of doubts seem to suggest how the governors will ‘rehabilitate’ and ‘maintain’ FG roads should be put in their charge.”
“We therefore propose and demand that the state governors focus more on the parlous conditions of most of the roads under their purview, while the FG should do same with the ones in its charge unless under an extraordinary circumstance. This way, the citizenry would be able to monitor the failures of both tiers of government in terms of performance on one hand and to expose corruption which has been a major bane in the excruciating experience of Nigerians on road infrastructural development on the other.”