Members of the House of Representatives were on Thursday livid on the poor state of Nigerian roads, attributing it to the poor budget implementation on the part of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA).
Members of the committee had disallowed the agency from presenting its 2021 budget over lack of execution of the 2020 budget.
Also, the decision on whether or not to allow the presentation of the 2021 budget tore members of the committee apart resulting in a prolonged argument amongst them.
As a result, the Managing Director of the Agency, Mr. Nurudeen Rafindadi, and his Management team were ordered out of the session as members deliberated amongst themselves on salient issues.
Members while arguing upon resuming the open session said the agency has been irresponsible and unresponsive to its core mandate. Some said they had called the Managing Director to alert him in the sorry state of some roads and he refused to pick their calls.
They also accused FERMA of imputing strange items regarding COVID-19 palliatives were seen in the FERMA budget making members wonder what those have to do with road maintenance.
Also, the committee members said the relevant budget documents were submitted in the morning, a few hours to the sitting, depriving members of the opportunity to review the budget of the agency.
Efforts by the Chairman of the committee to prevail on the members on the excuse that time was short and the budget has to be passed in a timely fashion was rebuffed by members, causing the committee to go into another closed door session on the next line of action.
Eventually, the FERMA boss and his team were called in. But the lawmakers agreed that the budget hearing be moved to next week so that a thorough consideration be done.