By Yetunde Fatungase
Abeokuta, July 29, 2020 The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, says transferring federal roads to state governments might be difficult due to some challenges.
Gbajabiamila said this on Wednesday while speaking with journalists shortly after he visited Gov. Dapo Abiodun in his office in Abeokuta.
While noting that the observation made by the governor for transfer of some roads to the state was well received, he insisted that the House might have to fashion out ways to handle this.
He contended that the transfer may require the ammendment of the Privatisation Act, adding that the lawmakers could explore other avenues to achieve this.
According to the Speaker, states such as Ogun which play host to many industries must have good roads to ease transportation.
“Those observations were received. It is for us to look at whether it is even possible legally for the Federal Government to transfer federal roads to any states; I’m not sure how feasible that is.
“But there is more than one way to skin a cat. So, even where that is not feasible, it might even require the amendment of the Privatisation Act; it’s the Federal Government assets.
“If that is not feasible, there are other models that we can look at, in terms of other people fixing the roads and then the Federal Government owing them or settling off whatever debts owed by the state.
” So either way, something definitely needs to be done about those roads,” he said.
On his purpose of visiting the governor, Gbajabiamila said: ” I just thought to stop by to see him, encourage him because of all the things I have heard and some of the things that I have seen in terms of his giant strides in the last one year.”
He added that they had a fruitful deliberation on ways the Federal Government and Ogun could collaborate in driving development in the state.
Speaking earlier, Abiodun observed that major roads like the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway and Agbara/Lusada road were in a state of disrepair.
This, he said, had adversely affected the socio-economic development of the state.
He noted that many factories on the road linking Agbara Industrial estate had shut down due to the deplorable state of the roads.
Abiodun said Ogun and Lagos had jointly written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari seeking the release of all affected roads for repair to ease the movement of people and goods.