The Managing Director/CEO, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Engr. Nuruddeen Rafindadi, has said that SERVICOM would be made a strategic stakeholder of the Agency.
The MD pledged to continue to intensify efforts in ensuring that the administrative processes for achieving the Agency’s mandate for better and more efficient service delivery are not encumbered in anyway.
Maryam M. Sanusi, the Director/Head (Comm./PR) in a statement on Thursday, said the MD made this known while receiving SERVICOM Compliance Evaluation reports from the National Coordinator/CEO SERVICOM, Mrs. Nnenna Akajemeli and her team Thursday at the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
Thefact Nigeria reports that the MD commended the commitments and efforts of the National Coordinator SERVICOM in actualizing the success of the SERVICOM initiative and the Executive Order 001 on transparency in the business environment and promised to take the reports objectively.
The FERMA boss while responding to the findings of the reports, disclosed that the Agency in the last three years has established 12 laboratories in the 12 Zones to ensure quality assurance in the roads being maintained across the nation.
Rafindadi however bemoaned paucity of funds, untimely and inadequate budgetary releases as some of the challenges hampering efficient discharge of its mandate.
He said, despite the challenges, the Agency will not relent in its efforts in ensuring that roads maintenance are carried out regularly to reduce the discomfort encountered by commuters while plying the federal roads.
The National Coordinator SERVICOM while briefing the MD on their findings on the SERVICOM Compliance Evaluation conducted in the 12 Zones of the Agency visited by the SERVICOM team, established that FERMA has performed fairly despite all the challenges confronting her.
She highlighted some of the strengths of the Agency to include; a committed leadership that is focused on achieving the mandate of the Agency, which is improving road network to enhance the economy of Nigeria, and help in bringing road crashes to its barest minimum; regular maintenance of failed sections of the federal roads across the nation; the engagement of youths living around some selected federal road corridors to participate in the Agency’s maintenance works.
Other strengths of the Agency according to Mrs. Akajemeli were robust public relations strategy for information dissemination to the public, strong social media presence such as Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, radio and TV programmes; partnership and collaboration with stakeholders and other Agencies; active and periodic engagements with stakeholders and officers accessibility to members of the public who may have complaints and more.
However, Madam SERVICOM also noted some of the weaknesses to include; inadequate budgetary allocation to the Agency and delay in releases of appropriation which negatively impact on the Agency’s operations; old roads due to the expiration of life span as a result of funding challenges confronted by the Agency.
Mrs. Akajemeli said that despite the efforts of the Agency in carrying out its mandate, the state of federal roads across the country still remain in a poor and deplorable state.
She said, “This can be deduced from the common trends in the evaluation findings which clearly points to the fact that some of these federal roads have expired and need to be reconstructed before a meaningful and sustainable maintenance will commence on them, hence, there is need for FERMA and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to work out modalities for reconstructing and handing over the federal roads for meaningful maintenance”.
Launching the Agency’s Service Charter, the Managing Director assured the SERVICOM team that the Agency would continue to adhere to the principles of service delivery while discharging its mandate.