Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly Rt. Hon Blessing Sheriff Agbebaku has summoned the Controller, Federal Ministry of Works in the state to the hallowed Chambers of the Assembly.
Hon Blessing Sheriff Agbebaku issued the summons during the plenary over the refusal of the controller of Works to appear with the director of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, who has responded to the House call.
During plenary, the Speaker led other members to question the director, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Muktar Ibrahim on the condition of federal roads in the state including the Benin-Auchi Road, Benin-Ore road, specifically, the Ovia River Bridge as well as other federal roads in deplorable conditions in the state.
Responding to the legislators, the director, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Muktar Ibrahim disclosed that there are 19 federal roads in the state, spanning 1,265 kilometres, five of which are under rehabilitation.
These he said include, the Benin-Warri Road, Benin-Auchi Road, Auchi-Igarra-Ibillo Road, Ewu – Uromi Road and Illushi- Uromi Road.
Ibrahim also disclosed that FERMA as an agency, only deals with rehabilitation of roads and not construction, stressing that it is the duty of the Federal Ministry of Works to undertake road construction.
He further stated that the remaining 13 roads are maintained by FERMA, and some of the roads are getting old. He added that the said roads do not have the capacity to carry the increasing amount of rainfall and higher traffic, some of the factors responsible for their current deplorable condition.
The speaker stated that the presence of FERMA is no longer felt in Edo State the way it used to be.
He re-invited the federal controller of Works to be at plenary next Tuesday to answer questions about the state of federal roads in the state.
Also at plenary, under messages from the governor, a letter was read by the clerk of the House, Alhaji Yahaya Audu Omogbai, on plans by the state government to raise a loan facility from Sterling Bank to the tune of N1bn to maintain and rehabilitate internal roads.
Leading debate on the approval, member representing Ovia North East 1 and the majority leader, Hon Charity Aiguobarueghian stated that it is timely as indigenes of the state are challenged by difficulties to wade through roads resulting in waste of man hours, and the loan being sought by the state government is not for a jamboree but for the rehabilitation and maintenance which affect all in the state.
Others who supported the motion for the facility to give the people good motorable roads, include the member representing Oredo West, Dr Edosa Osaro and member representing Akoko Edo 2 , Hon Donald Okogbe, amongst others.
Concluding, Speaker, Blessing Agbebaku said with incessant rainfall and the deplorable state of roads, the N1.5bn loan facility is a welcome development and subsequently called on the clerk of the House to make clean copies available to relevant authorities.
The House also passed at second reading, a bill for a law to against open defecation in Edo State, to prevent environmental and health hazards, strengthen and sustain Edo State Open Defecation Fee, ODF status, 2023 and for other connected purposes. The bill was committed to the committee on Environment for further action.
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