The Managing Director, United Kingdom Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (UKNIAF), Prof. Chidi Onyia, led a team of representatives of the organization on a courtesy visit to Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), recently to seek for technical partnership with FERMA.
Prof. Chidi, in his introductory remarks, said the objectives of the programme includes; funding Federal road network with the hope of promoting economic growth, support initiatives that help to improve condition of Federal road Network and to provide network condition supporting economic growth. Prof. Chidi said the programme is demand driven and so, requires full compliance of the Agency in areas of close working relationship, technical demands and signed agreement which helps conduct the activities. The support programme, Onyia added, is for four years with possibility of two years extension in order to meet its set target.
The Lead, Road component, Mr. Bill Mcmahon while speaking, said the key areas of support by the UKNIAF are road sector reform (Road Authority & Road Fund), Predictable and sustainable funding for rehabilitation and Maintenance, Road Asset Management System RAMS (Improved decision making for road investments, evidence based prioritized best value for money) and project delivery (review current procedures, identify obstacles to effective delivery, update procedures, reduce delays and cost over runs.
He stressed that the overall potential outcome of these key support areas will increase quality of travel time via roads, reduce maintenance and fuel, improve journey reliability, reduce travel cost, improve national and regional economic growth and increase trade and agricultural exports.
In his response, the Managing Director, FERMA, Engr. Nuruddeen A. Rafindadi, FNSE, said the Agency is open to partnering with UKNIAF for technical support which will tremendously aid in project delivery.
The MD added that FERMA and Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF) have formed a strong partnership in the past which include technical support in the use of evidence based planning for road maintenance investment centered on robust data collection regimes. He further said that with the partnership with NIAF, the framework for demand led technical support to FERMA under the current UKNIAF programme has been finalized.
UKNIAF also sought to understand FERMA’s information and data needs to enable it take a holistic approach that would be beneficial to all.
UKNIAF is a Department for Internal Development (DFID) funded technical assistance programme designed to support Nigeria’s infrastructure development with special focus on power, roads, capital budgeting, public partnership infrastructure financing and infrastructure rehabilitation in the North East region. The aim of the program is in two fold, to improve institutional management and decision making process regarding social and economic infrastructures, to enhance the institutional environment and structures supporting the raising and allocation of public private partnership finance.
Present at the presentation meeting were the Executive Directors/Board Members and some FERMA management staff.