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National Council on Works Kicks Up in Kano
Nigerian minister proposes policy option for roads subsector
Bala Muhammad Makosa (babanjawad)     Print Article 
Published 2007-11-15 08:40 (KST)   
The Nigerian National Council on Works has begun in the ancient commercial city of Kano in the northern Nigeria, on Wednesday. The opening ceremony of the meeting was chaired by Minister of Transportation Diezana Alison Madueke.

In her address to the delegates, which took place at the Royal Tropicana Hotel, Madueke stated that Nigerian President Umar Musa Yar'Adua was determined to make Nigeria one the top 20 countries of the world by 2020.

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"As you all know, His Excellency President Umar Musa Yar'Adua has put in place a seven point agenda to achieve this vision," Madueke said. "The seven point agenda emphasizes the centrality of transportation in a plan that will lead Nigeria into the league of industrialized nations by the year 2020, and therefore, a large part of his concentrations is on rebuilding our physical infrastructure, which includes transportation, with the aim of achieving an efficient means of mass transit of people, service and goods."

The minister lamented the condition of the current road network, which she said was not just embarrassing but unacceptable.

Madueke also highlighted some policies she said are options for the roads subsector in order to "put in place a mechanism that will ensure adequate, timely and predictable funding for road investments, and particularly for the maintenance of the existing road assets." One option included the establishment of a "road fund."

"Adoption of modern methods and technologies for better efficiencies and effectiveness in the provision and management of roads would be achieved through the creation of a Federal Roads Authority responsible for planning, designing, implementation [and] maintenance of roads," she said. "This agency would, inter alia, be responsible for overload control and the related infrastructure aspects of road safety."

The 2007 National Council on Works is being attended by government representatives from all the 36 states as well as by construction engineers and national and foreign engineering firms.

Nigerian roads have been deteriorating for many years. Past governments have intensified efforts to correct this trend, but their efforts have proved abortive. Although huge amounts of money have been set aside in every year's budget for rehabilitation of existing roads and construction new ones across the nation, unpatriotic citizens often divert funding for their own selfish uses.
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Bala Muhammad Makosa

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