A previous Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Bayo Onanuga, has urged that President Muhammadu Buhari should order all his ministers to stop travelling by air within the country.
He said Buhari should order the ministers to also travel by road for one year.
This way, Onanuga said, the President and his men would know that majority of Nigerian roads were in a deplorable state and understand that the “N260bn capital budget for 2020 is simply laughable.”
Onanuga stated this in a statement on Thursday in response to the claim by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, that Nigerian roads were not as bad as being claimed.
Onanuga, who gave a list of some of the deplorable federal roads in the country, wondered why Fashola would make such a statement.
He said, “Travelling from Lagos to Abuja, for instance, is hell. Fashola should ask NTA cameramen to follow the route, to and fro, and he will be palpably shocked.
“Minna to Abuja is so close; let Fashola and his officials go on a visit to IBB and Abdulsalami at the Hilltop. Ore-Benin has gone bad again. People are complaining everyday and everywhere about the poor state of the roads.
“I am from Ijebu-Ode, just 100km from Lagos. In almost one year, I have not been to my town, because going from Lekki is now unthinkable because of the bad roads, even from Lekki to Epe.
“Epe to Ijebu-Ode is horrible. Epe to Ketu is equally horrible and Ketu to Omu-Ijebu-Ode is bad.
“Worst of all, if I decide to go through Ketu-Itoikin-Ijebu-Ode, I will need to buy a new car. All these roads are, unfortunately, federal roads.”
To appreciate the magnitude of the problem, Onanuga suggested that Fashola should make his phone number and email available to Nigerians.
“He will be shocked how he will be inundated with complaints about the parlous state of our many critical roads in all the geographical zones.
“Buhari should order his ministers to stop flying within Nigeria for one year. He himself should routinely endeavour to use the roads, to really understand the dilapidation of the roads and why the N260bn capital budget for 2020 is simply laughable,” Onanuga said.
Similary, the member of the House of Representatives representing Ede-North/Ede-South/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun State, Mr Bamidele Salam, challenged Fashola to travel by road in the next 90 days.
The lawmaker said, “I found Fashola’s statement, which had been repeated by the honorable minister on two previous occasions as a clear indication that some of us in public offices are not in tune with the horrendous realities of our fellow citizens’ daily experience.”