Abuja - Mr Gabriel Amuchi, the Managing Director, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), has said that the "zero potholes" target set for the festive period on critical Federal Highways, is on course and achievable.
Amuchi gave the assurance on Monday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the state of federal roads.
He said the Agency and the Federal Ministry of Works were working closely on the Operation Zero Potholes and Safe Passage programmes.
Amuchi said a nationwide assessment conducted by a task force mandated by FERMA indicates that a number of roads had been fixed and were in good shape.
He listed the roads as the Kano-Kaduna, Abuja-Lokoja and Okene-Auchi routes.
Speaking on the Okene–Auchi road, Amuchi said he was confident that before the Yuletide, the target would be met.
He said that one contractor Messrs Harvey Construction was working from the Auchi side, while Borini Prono was on the Okene– Auchi stretch.
Amuche listed other critical routes where road maintenance operations under the Presidential directive were ongoing as the Enugu –Aba-Port Harcourt dual carriageway, Owerri - Aba road and the Sagamu-Ore-Benin dual carriageway.
He said that work was also in progress on the Benin Bye-pass, Benin-Agbor-Asaba, Onitsha-Owerri expressway, the Onitsha-Ninth-Mile-Enugu road, the Abuja-Nyanya-Keffi-Akwanga road, and the Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi roads.
Other places where work is also in progress, according to Amuchi, are the Makurdi-Aliade-Otukpo road and the Otukpo-Obollo-Afor–Ninth Mile road.
The Managing Director, who conducting the team on an inspection tour of the Abuja–Kaduna and Kaduna–Zaria–Kano roads, said that FERMA was now carrying out mopping up operations on the roads.
"Our current operations are targeted at sealing up minor potholes and cracks that were not major threats at the inception of the operation.
"With all very dangerous potholes now eliminated, the current focus is to implement the agency’s policy of continuous maintenance to achieve all year-round serviceability of these critical roads henceforth," he said.
Amuchi said the acquisition of the `FP5' Pothole Patcher as well as establishment of FERMA cold asphalt production plants in Kaduna and other centres in the country, would revolutionised road maintenance operations.
"It has given engineers and technicians the confidence to work seven days a week."
He said FERMA would acquire bigger capacity asphalt blending plants and establish cold asphalt production centres in all the states of the federation to make road maintenance easier, cheaper and more effective.
Amuchi said that the monitoring team set up by the Agency would ensure full implementation of the Zero Pothole programme and ensure that the goal was attained.