By Perpetua Onuegbu
Abuja, Nov. 4, 2020 The Nigerian Institution of Highway and Transportation Engineers (NIHTE) on Wednesday advocated for tax levying on the nation’s highways to ensure that roads are sustained.
Mr Musa Saidu, Chairman of the newly inauguarated Abuja Chapter of the Institute, said this during the inauguration of the chapter and investiture of the executives.
Saidu said the chapter would improve on what was already on ground by working with other agencies that deal with roads.
“We are trying to promote modern technology in both construction and design of highways.
“So we are going to impart that knowledge on our partners most especially the institutions that also deal with Highways like the FCDA and other Federal government agencies.
“The Nigerian roads are financed through budgetary provisions but we are looking at bringing up the idea of tax levying for highways.
“We will start something like that and improve on it by pushing for legislation in this direction to the authorities so that we will not have to depend only on budgetary provisions as the only means of funding the roads.
“If there is another means like setting aside some amount from petroleum products for road infrastructure, this will improve the quality of our roads and showcase governments’ seriousness in terms of infrastructure development,” Saidu said.
While delivering his address, National Chairman of the Institution, Mr Oludayo Oluyemi called on the newly inaugurated chapter to assist the Federal Government and the Federal Capital Territory Administration in formulating good policies on Highway and Transportation Engineering.
According to him, this will enable the institution to contribute its quota to national development and the development of the territory.
“We are to meet regularly and we are also expected to arrange workshops, seminars and technical sessions that will enrich and expose the members.
The training of the young engineers must also be given adequate consideration in our efforts.
“I have no doubt this chapter has a good reservoir of knowledge that can be drawn from the construction and consulting companies, Government establishment and the Universities within and around Abuja.
“I want to appeal to all members of the executives to serve the society with all their might and be fair in the discharge of their duties, abiding strictly by the guidelines of the Nigerian Society of Engineers bye-laws.“
Oluyemi commended the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, for engaging indigenous highway engineering consultants in the on-going projects in the ministry.
The national chairman however appealed to the minister to pay the bills of all consultants as and when due, assuring him of the institution’s best services to the ministry and the nation.
In a lecture presentation titled ‘Supervision and Quality Control of Road Projects in Nigeria’, Mr Saidu Hassan , NIHTE National Vice Chairman called on government to develop a quality assurance system covering all aspects of roads.
According to him, quality control refers to the practice of checking the quality of a product by testing samples.
“Since large investments are being made in the roads it is desirable that good quality roads are constructed meeting the laid down standards and specifications.
“Quality is always appreciated at citizens level also and a mechanism may be evolved for their participation in this effort.
This in turn will bring in more transparency and objectivity to the effort of assurance,” Hassan said.