The Senate said on Wednesday it would carry out a holistic investigation into the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) over alleged non-remittance of N800 billion to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) for the maintenance of roads across Nigeria.
President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, who disclosed this at the plenary, said previous efforts by Nigeria to concession government enterprise failed as a result of systemic corruption.
Lawan called for Public-Private – Partnership in the construction of roads across the country if the government must meet up to its responsibility of providing good roads.
Lawan stated these in his remarks after a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Federal Road Maintenance Agency Act 2002 (as Amended) the Federal Highways Act 1971 and the Control of Advertisement Act 1986 and to establish the Federal Road Authority to provide for the ownership, Regulation, Management and Development of the Federal Roads Network and for other matters connected therewith, 2019 (SB. 89) scaled second reading in the upper legislative chamber.
The Bill is sponsored by Senator Gershom Bassey, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Cross River South.
Lawan said: “Corruption is also responsible for some of the challenges we face in our road sector.
“We recall that the privatization of various enterprises was made right from 1986 till date, and in most cases the privatization or concession processes were flawed and of course, we suffer as a country.
“So, we just have to be very careful. We insist we go on the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) partnership, but we have to ensure that everything is done within the law as required, so that no one takes advantage of his position in government to shortchange the entire people of the country.
“I believe that we need to demand what happened to over N800 billion that PPPRA was alleged to have collected.
“I think that we will take that as a separate issue because we need to verify and confirm, even for the sake of allowing PPPRA to defend itself, because this is not something that we can sweep under the carpet. N800 billion can do a lot of things for our country.”
Earlier in his lead debate, Senator Bassey who noted that the 36,000km federal road network is by far the largest and most valuable single public infrastructure asset owned by the Federal Government, said “there is nowhere in the world that this expanse of the road network is managed solely by the government.
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