President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the Senate will investigate the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency over an alleged non-remittance of N800bn to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency. FERMA was expected to maintain all major roads across the country with the amount.
Lawan stated this after the passage of a bill for an Act to repeal the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency Act, 2002 and to establish the Federal Roads Authority Bill, 2019. He said, “I believe that we need to demand what happened to over N800bn that the 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 the PPPRA to defend itself. This is not something that we can sweep under the carpet. N800bn can do a lot of things for our country.”
The Senate president said previous efforts by Nigeria towards the concession of government enterprise failed as a result of systemic corruption. He called for Public-Private Partnership in the construction of roads across the country for government to achieve its responsibility of providing good roads.
He 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.”
The Sponsor of the bill, Senator Gershom Bassey, in his lead debate, said that the 36,000km federal road network remained the largest and most valuable single public infrastructure asset owned by the Federal Government.