The Federal Executive Council (FEC) rose from its meeting on Wednesday with a plea to states to take over the repairs and maintenance of federal roads in order to reduce the burden on the Federal Government.
The appeal was made during a two-hour meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the council chambers yesterday.
The council said states that could afford to take over federal highways should do so as quickly as possible so that the roads do not go into “total deterioration”.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan, who briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, said the FEC approved a memo presented by the Minister of Power, Works, Housing and Urban Development, Babatunde Fashola, for the re-designation of two roads in Kaduna State from being federal roads to state roads as requested by the state Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai.
According to Alhassan, Gov. El-Rufai had sent a request to President Buhari to re-designate the Nnamdi Azikwe and the Ahmadu Bello Expressways in Kaduna as state roads so that the state government would “have the power, without any inhibition, to work on the roads to make them better for Kaduna indigenes”.
The minister noted that the council was very pleased with El-Rufai’s request “because ordinarily, other state governors should have requested for permission to repair and be reimbursed.
“But he (El-Rufai) asked for outright handing over to the Kaduna State government so that they can take care of it as their own, and asked the (federal) government to complete the eastern by-pass which is outside Kaduna linking the North-central to North-western Nigeria. That was also approved by the council because it is a welcome idea”.
“The council also appealed to other state governments that can afford to take over federal roads to lessen the burden on federal government, to enable them repair and maintain roads as quickly as possible so that they don’t go into total deterioration”, Mrs. Alhassan added.