Bamidele Salam, a member of the house of representatives from Osun state, has challenged Babatunde Fashola, minister of works, to a 90-day tour on Nigerian roads.
Salam, who is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), threw the challenge while reacting to Fashola’s claim that Nigerian roads are “not as bad as portrayed.”
The minister had said: “The roads are not as bad as they are often portrayed … the roads are not that bad.”
But addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, the lawmaker berated Fashola for the comment which he said is a clear indication he was not in tune with reality.
“I found this statement, which had been repeated by the honourable minister at least on two previous occasions as a clear indication that some of us in public offices are not at all in tune with the horrendous realities of our fellow citizens’ daily experience,” he said.
“Appreciating what Nigerians go through on our bad roads daily, requires that public office holders put themselves in the shoes of the average Nigerian and get a first-hand experience of how Nigerians survive on a daily basis.
“It is only when the minister, as well as other relevant stakeholder, travel the roads in the country for a reasonable length of time would they understand the yearnings of Nigerians.”
Salam asked Fashola and other concerned individuals to join him to tour the roads in the country for three months to better understand their state.
He said: “As a member of the house of representatives committee on works, I will be throwing a road travel challenge to the honourable minister and all persons concerned to avoid air travel for all local trips in the next 90 days.
“If we will agree to this challenge, we may come back with a better appreciation of the true state of our road infrastructure and the desperate things we need to do to save our economy from further disruptions as a result of the burgeoning crisis in the road transportation sector.”