That the vast majority of Federal Government roads is in bad shape and needs urgent repairs or outright re-designs is no longer news. It is also pedestrian knowledge that the Federal Government appears overwhelmed by the current bad state of these roads.
What is, however newsy about the development is the recent decision by the Okowa led administration to address the hardship faced by the citizens of the State by approving the sum of One Billion Naira (N1, 000,000,000) for the repairs of damaged portions of federal roads that traverse Delta State.
Even as we think about the broader solution to the challenges we face as a nation, there are so many lessons from this intervention we need to keep in mind.
First, without going into specific concepts or approaches contained, while it is considerably important to acknowledge this latest intervention by the Delta State Government to save Deltans from the harrowing pains occasioned by the deplorable State of the Federal roads in the State, of which the repairs were long overdue, we must as both a responsible and responsive people and organizations condemn the Federal Government’s insensitivity to the Nigerian masses and Deltans in this regard.
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Indeed, from our recent observation of the Federal Government’s demonstration of insufficiency in scope to address the deplorable condition of major roads in the country, it is a clear indication that the country will soon face a higher level of challenge socio-economically as the growth, prosperity and national security of the country to a large extent is critically dependent upon the adequacy of good road networks.
In our view, the above coupled with the absence of electricity, without any shadow of the doubt, answers the question as to why distributive trade has become a thing of the past in the country, with different organizations/industries relocating to nearby African countries blessed with both good road networks and stable electricity.
And also provides a link as to why kidnapping is on the increase in the country as the criminal elements choose these bad portions of the road to operate.
As to what should be done to have this trend reversed, there may be no single answers to the troubled federal roads in Nigeria, but any government desirous of developing the sectors know that most of the so-called federal roads have fallen into a state of disrepair and calls for complete re-designing.
While this is ongoing, it will be highly rewarding if the government thinks it a wise development to scale the Nigerian rail systems as alternative means of transportation in the country, particularly for the movement of heavy industrial, petroleum products, agricultural and other goods and services.
Most importantly, these inabilities daily exhibited by the government ministries, corporations/commissions and agencies are visible signs that the centre is suffering from political obesity and urgently needs to shed this weight via restructuring of the country.