The National President of the Senior Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Com. Chijioke Ugwoke has lamented what he called the embarrassing and deplorable state of federal roads in the South West and other Southern parts of Nigeria in general.
He stated this at the Plenary Session of the two-day 37th National Executive Committee meeting of the association which kicked-off on Wednesday at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.
Ugwoke said it is disheartening that virtually all federal roads in the South West, South East and South South parts of the country are all in terrible state saying the broken and dilapidated roads contribute to insecurity and loss of lives in the regions.
Specifically mentioning the Okene-Isua-Akungba-Owo roads, the SSANU President said journeys that should ordinarily take minutes now take hours with the attendant loss of precious man hours and other economic losses.
In his words, “It is disheartening and embarrassing that the South West has now joined the Eastern and South Southern states in the dishonorable bad roads train. I came in yesterday (Tuesday) and was amazed at the sight of the federal roads that have become virtually impassable.
“The Owo-Akungba-Isua-Okene axis is a shame and an embarrassment on the federal government that a trunk A road that leads to the federal capital has been left to rot, broke down almost and rendered impassable. The same holds for other federal roads in the entire Southern zone.
“And of course, this has led to insecurity and heavy economic losses occasioned by accidents and damage to industrial and agricultural goods in transit. I think it is high time the federal government did something urgent about this. It is not out of place if a State of Emergency is declared on this issue.
“How can we be inviting foreign investors when we have no incentives to promote their businesses? How many foreign business men would come when the entire transportation system in Nigeria is in shambles? How many would want to establish business in a society where a sizeable bulk of income would be devoted to generating power and maintaining vehicles damaged by bad roads? Something urgent should be done.”
Comrade Ugwoke also knocked the Chief of Army Staff for saying Nigerians should always go about with a valid means of identification in order not to be mistaken for Boko Haram members.
He described as unfortunate such a call saying it shows the Army Chief has run out of ideas. He, therefore, called on President Buhari to change his Service Chiefs to heighten the fight against insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping.
The two-day 37th NEC Meeting of SSANU started on Wednesday with delegates from over 100 institutions in attendance. The meeting is chaired by the National President, Com. Chijioke Ugwoke and the National Vice President (West), Com. Ilesanmi Jimoh.
Meanwhile, an Award ceremony for deserving members of the University Community and beyond was held earlier on Tuesday. Those honoured include the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ajibefun for what the AAUA Branch Chairman of SSANU, Com. Temitope Famuti called “his commitment to the welfare of staff and for being union friendly.”
Others were: the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr. Tunji Abayomi “for his courage in defending policies that will move the University forward;” a former Bursar, Mr Olayiwola Akinterinwa “for probity and accountability;” and Hon. Kolawole Babatunde (Amechi) for his contribution to the poor and needy in the society.
Also honoured were the pioneer Chairman of SSANU in AAUA, Com. Samuel Akinduro, a former Pro Chancellor, Sen. Bode Olajumoke “for being a good friend of the physically challenged and for building a twin hostel for them on campus.”