Nass Committees on FERMA Advocates Increased Budgetary Allocation To FERMA


The Nigerian Legislature has advocated increased annual budgetary allocation to the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) because it is poorly funded.

Chairman, Senate Committee on FERMA, Senator Hussaini Babangida Uba, upheld this view during a joint sitting of the Senate and House of Reps Committees on FERMA at the hearing of the presentation of the FERMA 2023 Performance/2024 Budget Defence.

FERMA is an agency of government that was set up for the monitoring and maintenance of all federal roads in Nigeria.

Senator Uba said FERMA could not meet the people’s expectations of making all roads motorabe and safe for users because the annual budgetary allocation to FERMA falls grossly below what the agency needs to carry out its mandate of maintaining federal roads across the nation.

“The poor condition of federal roads across the country is unimaginable and calls for urgent attention to ameliorate the suffering of road users.

“FERMA is doing a good job within the limited means, but it is not appreciated because the bit it is doing is just only able to affect a small percentage of the people,” said the FERMA’s chairman.

He enjoined the FERMA to invest more in stakeholders engagement and publicity to enable its achievements, challenges, and aspirations to be heard and appreciated by the general public.

He also encouraged the FERMA to effectively communicate their progresses and challenges to National Assembly committee.

The Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, FERMA, Engr. (Dr.) Chukwuemeka Agbasi, during his presentation of the 2023/ 2024 Budget Performance and Defence said, the roads selected for the 2024 captial budget proposal were based on equitable distribution, according to the six (6) geopolitical zones of the country.

“Priorities were given to major trunk A roads within the zones that would key into Mr President’s priority areas of national development and economic recovery; roads that would massively improve movement of persons, goods, services and agricultural produce to boost food security and the economic wellbeing of the citizen,” he explained.

He further added that the 2024 budget included the rollover of some projects with completion period exceeding the 2023 fiscal year to ensure 100% execution.

A total of N77,390,766,140 (seventy-seven billion, three hundred and ninety million, seven hundred and sixty-six thousand, one hundred and forty naira) proposal was presented by the Managing Director/CEO to the Joint Committees of the Senate and the House.

The breakdown includes total personnel – N4,081,099,533 (four billion, eighty-one million, ninety-nine thousand, five hundred and thirty-three naira); total overhead – N22,027,209,696 (twenty-two billion, twenty-seven million, two hundred and nine thousand, six hundred and ninety-six naira); total recurrent – N26,108,309,229 (twenty-six billion, one hundred and eight million, three hundred and nine thousand, two hundred and twenty-nine naira), while total capital, which is meant for the maintenance of the over 36,000km of federal roads is – N51,282,456,911 (fifty-one billion, two hundred and eighty-two million, four hundred and fifty-six thousand, nine hundred and eleven naira only).

The Minister of Works, Engr. David Umahi, who was present during the presentation, in his remarks said that the appropriation was inadequate and FERMA was doing its best.

He solicited for an upward review of the budget and a separate contingency fund for urgent intervention in emergency road repairs.

He reiterated that road designs in the country will be reviewed for better roads construction and maintenance, which will allow the roads to last longer.

Other members of the Joint Committee took turns to comment, and all agreed with the poor state of the road, poor funding of FERMA and the need for improved and increased budgetary allocation for FERMA. They also explored alternative sources of funding for FERMA.

Going forward, the committees from the Senate and House of Reps pledged their support and cooperation with FERMA to enable it carry out its work effectively.