Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, on Wednesday, after the Federal Executive Council meeting said that Nigerian roads were not too bad. According to him, the ugly reports on the terrible state of the roads were mere exaggeration.
“The roads are not as bad as they are often portrayed. I know that this is going to be your headline, but the roads are not that bad”, Fashola told State House Correspondents.
He further noted that most road projects across the nation would have been complete if not for certain challenges. For instance, he noted that some parts of the country (especially in the south) have high water table which made construction of road during rainy season difficult.
He further noted that the contractors have to wait patiently until the rain stops before returning to sites.
However, Ibrahim Usman, the Chairman, Infrastructure Development Committee, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, berated Fashola over his statement. He noted that contrary to his (Fashola) statement, Nigerian roads are terrible.
“I think the minister is being economical with the truth. The roads are terrible. Take for instance the Biu to Gombe road that took one-and-a-half hours in the past to ply, now it takes four hours to get from Biu to Gombe. The luck we have is that Boko Haram has not stuck on that road.
“Another terrible road is the Damaturu-Biu road. That also takes four hours when in the past it took less than two hours.That was where military trucks and equipment were seized and taken into the bush by bandits some weeks back. At least if the roads are good, cars can move with speed but when the roads are terrible, movement is difficult and it is easy for robbers to attack.”
Timothy Olawale, the Director General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, noted that the minister do not actually ply the same roads like ordinary Nigerians.
“The huge craters along the Oyo-Ogbomoso road can swallow vehicles. These are roads that were manageable before but they have gone completely bad. People spend hours on that expressway because of tankers that fall into the craters.
“The sad thing is that the government is not doing any kind of palliative work on the roads.”
“To say that the road between Asaba and Enugu is bad is an understatement. I think the minister is not in touch with reality. He needs to speak with his road maintenance engineers and get information about the true situation of Nigerian roads.”
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.