Opinion: Nigeria needs ministry of road construction by Comrade Udeagha Emmanuel
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Opinion: Nigeria needs ministry of road construction by Comrade Udeagha Emmanuel

Editor's note: Comrade Udeagha Emmanuel, a Nigerian rights activist, is not happy with the situation of roads in the country, especially as citizens have constantly called the attention of the government to their harrowing experiences to no avail.

Emmanuel laments that 59 years after Nigeria's independence, the country has continued to grapple with amenities many other nations now take for granted.

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According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 2598 Nigerians died in road accidents between October 2017 and March 2018 (recorded ones), Premium Times report of May 23, 2018.

They erroneously attributed the deaths to reckless driving but in reality, the deplorable state of our roads is the major cause. Having established the above fact, it is so shameful and utterly ridiculous that this dangerous and irredeemable state of our roads nationwide has been left to deteriorate thereby exposing the in-competencies of our present crop of leaders.

Travelling from Seme border to Mile 2 in Lagos state, from Mile 2 to Apapa, from Lokoja to Enugu and from Enugu to the entire south eastern and south south region of the country, one will only but shed tears.

For a country that attained independence since over 59 years, that is highly endowed with vast human and natural resources, huge externally and internally generated revenues, but are mismanaged by such a set of greedy, selfish and incompetent group of politicians/leaders from federal to local government level, and for Nigerians to sit docile watching sheepishly, aimlessly and helplessly beats my imagination.

Agreed, the infrastructural decay did not start with this present government (most of them are part and parcel of the previous government), but what stops them from establishing a government-owned construction company since we have the requisite raw material, manpower and technological know how?

Their inability to profer solutions and provide succour to our suffering masses who are constant victims of the 'malfeasance' roads is clear evidence that this crop of leaders has failed Nigerians and deserve to be butted out.

What stops this APC-led government which is falsely and sensationally craving and driving the development of the local contents from creating a federal ministry of road maintenance and thus establishing its branches across the states? Can't we develop and build our own road networks?

Must we continue to depend on foreign companies who are basically here to make gains and exploit us (some are even exchanging road construction for crude oil) and who inflate road contracts and pay kickbacks to our corrupt politicians?

Can't we maintain a common asphalt technology? Why can't the state government establish road constructions ministry? This is a clear conduit pipe for funds embezzlement.

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