• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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68.3% of Nigerian roads in terrible condition says 2013 NIIMP report


About 68.3 percent of Nigeria’s roads are in terrible disrepair, says a report from the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) initiated by the National Planning Commission (NPC) two years ago.

The report says that 40 percent of the bad roads belong to the federal government, 78 percent to states and 87 percent to the local governments respectively.

The report which was approved by the Federal Executive Council in the last quarter of 2014 lists the bad roads as including arterial roads,  federal highways , access roads owned and controlled by the states,  and feeder roads which are under the  local governments.

Analysts say the poor state of the roads slows the speed to market of goods and services, raises cost, reduces competitiveness and is a disincentive to local and foreign investment.

Details of the 193 page working document which lists transportation and energy as the top two sectors which must be accorded priority attention, reveal that it is estimated that 40 percent of the federal road network is in poor condition (in need of rehabilitation);30 percent in fair condition (requiring periodic maintenance); and about 27 percent is in good condition (requiring only routine maintenance).

The remaining three percent is accounted for by unpaved trunk roads that need to be paved. In the case of state roads, 78 pecent are in poor condition, and 87percent of local government roads are also in poor condition.

The National Planning Commission stated that the total investment requirement for the transportation sector will amount to about  $800 billion, of which $265 billion is attributable to rehabilitation and expansion of the road network.

This comprises rehabilitating about 120,000 km of existing roads, extending the total length of paved roads from the current 70,000 km to more than 180,000 km, and increasing general road density by about 50 percent.

Nigeria has a national road network of about 200,000km and out  of this total, federal roads make up 18 percent (35,000km), state roads 15 percent (17,000km), and local government roads 67 percent (150,000km), while investigations reveal that most local government roads are unpaved.

The road sector accounts for about 90 percent of all freight and passenger movement in the country.

Although the Federal road network constitutes 18 percent of the total national network, it accounts for about 70 of the national vehicular and freight traffic.

Against this backdrop, Nigeria’s current transport infrastructure is not aligned with the country’s aspiration to become one of the world’s 20 largest economies by 2020.

Henry Ejiogu, a fleet haulage operator said that over the years, the horrible state of Nigeria’s road network impacts negatively on the movement of goods and services across the different parts of the country which has led to discriminatory increase in the prices of goods and services. 

Business Day had reported that  Nigerian private and commercial bus owners spend an estimated N300billion on maintenance of their vehicles as a result of spare parts replacement and other incidental expenses. 

Usman Bala Kabir, a construction engineer, wondered why the three levels of government cannot carry out increased maintenance and capacity expansion to improve the state and efficiency of he roads, in line with the NIIMP report. He added that, increased focus on inter-modality would raise the efficiency of the sector in terms of convenience, travel time and cost.

Increased maintenance and capacity expansions are needed to improve the state of the sector, the report says.

Furthermore, increased focus on inter-modality would raise the efficiency of the sector in terms of convenience, travel time and cost.

John Gbassa, chief executive of WAO Global, told our reporter that all over the world, road infrastructure is central to economic growth. It is at the core of good governance and public welfare. Any improvement in road infrastructure positively impacts the nation’s GDP.

Accoding to the NIIMP, the current unsatisfactory state of Nigerian roads can be attributed to challenges including the inefficient institutional structure for the management of roads .

The report recalls that the  Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) was established as a stop gap before undertaking more substantive sector reforms, but says Nigeria continues to rely on traditional general budget allocations to fund road maintenance and rehabilitation.

The NIIMP says that the current maintenance levels are insufficient to sustain the quality of the existing road infrastructure, resulting in further deterioration. Successive governments in Nigeria have allocated resources to federal road rehabilitation, but not enough of these resources are reserved for preventive maintenance.

Analysts believe that a shift in inland transportation has occurred from rail and waterways to roads, including high volumes of petroleum transportation due to dysfunctional pipelines.

Benchmarks and network simulations indicate that an annual  budget of around $240 million should be allocated for preventive maintenance. In recent years, Nigeria has only allocated about $ 50 million per year for road infrastructure, according to the 2011 Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) Report.

Historically, new construction has been prioritised over maintenance as the budgeting cycle limits utilisation of funds during the dry season that is perceived to be most favourable for construction, the report adds.

Overloading, blocked drainage structures and parking of heavy axle vehicles on carriageways contribute to additional deterioration of road infrastructure, it concludes.