AfDB to support FERMA with a $10b loan facility
African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced plans to assist the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) with a $10 billion loan facility, which will address the funding gap on road repair in the country.
The loan will be disbursed to different sectors of the economy for a period of 10 years, through its transport sector identification mission.
A Specialist/Consultant to the Bank, Dr. Abayomi Babalola who stated this during a visit to the agency’s Headquarters in Abuja, observed that the transport sector had not received much-desired intervention from the bank.
He also explained that they were at FERMA on a fact-finding mission, which consists of identifying and determining the road projects in Nigeria that can be funded through a well-monitored project circle.
Babalola said, the projects would be of national priority and devoid of political encumbrances, requesting the Agency to forward those that meet the criteria, which will eventually be funded.
Responding, the Managing Director of FERMA, Nuruddeen Rafindadim, an engineer, thanked AfDB for the good gesture and bemoaned the poor state of roads as a result of poor funding in the country.
“Budgetary Allocation has been grossly inadequate to fund road repair works, and the Federal Government is looking at other options that would be sustained in funding road projects, he explained.
“When the Federal Ministry of Finance approves the loan arrangement, AfDB should be assured of good execution of such road projects. Roads that would benefit may not be viable for Privatization.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has called on engineers and other Nigerian Professionals to contribute their quota in the development of engineering infrastructures for the country.
Speaking during the investiture of George Okoroma as the 18th President of the Association of Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN) in Abuja, Onu advised Nigerian professionals to leverage on Executive Five to bid for contracting jobs and build excellence in local capacity by economically empowering themselves.
The minister also challenged engineering professionals, especially consulting engineers to display a high level of technical competence in the practice of their profession.
It is only by doing this, he added, that Nigeria people can benefit from their outputs at the most cost-effective level.
“It is well known that the place of engineering in infrastructural development of any nation cannot be overemphasized, hence the importance of engineers to Nigeria is infrastructural development is highly commendable” he added.
He further urged consulting engineers to upgrade their talents and strive to surpass their colleagues in other parts of the world.
“I want to see our consulting engineers competing with the best in the world and winning bids in the technologically advanced countries in the future, “ he said.