Managing Director of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, Gabriel Amuchi, has said there was no country without potholes on its highways, and applauded his organisation for its ability to patch 80 per cent of potholes on federal roads across the nation.
Speaking at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja, during recognition of excellence and award to outstanding staff of the agency during which 16 staff, including the head of the Media unit, Hajia Maryam Sanusi, were given awards, Amuchi declared that from 85 per cent of unmotorable roads inherited by him, the percentage had dropped to less than 20, with more than 28,000 kilometres now in good condition.
He said that to achieve better results, the agency’s proposal for rapid road recovery had received the approval of the Federal Minister of Works, along with attitudinal change.
He noted further that the agency had introduced preventive measures rather than the erstwhile corrective measures in an attempt to keep the roads free of pot-holes.
On the impossibility of having zero pot-holes, which he once targeted, the FERMA boss said in an interview: “Even as we speak now, there could be washouts and chemical leakage; cracks will occur but the preventive maintenance initiative makes it mandatory that as soon as that crack develops, we proactively attend to them,” he said.
“If you seal them on time, they don’t develop into potholes, and if you stop the potholes from enlarging, they don’t become major failures. So, that’s the essence of the preventive maintenance initiative.
“The experience we had in the past was the situation where you wait for funds and relax until the failure has fully occurred and you begin to do corrective repairs. But now, we are doing preventive.
“If there is need for major repair, you do it and stop it from enlarging. So, it is cost-effective and promotes the movement of goods and services,” Amuchi said.