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New FERMA’s chairman: A fresh perspective or gambling?

In Nigerian politics and governance, every decision made by our leaders is subject to intense scrutiny and debate. Recently, the appointment of Ibrahim Kashim Imam…

In Nigerian politics and governance, every decision made by our leaders is subject to intense scrutiny and debate. Recently, the appointment of Ibrahim Kashim Imam as the Chairman of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has ignited a fierce debate across social media platforms and within our communities.

This is one of those appointments that have Nigerians sharply divided. While some commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for this bold choice, others, including myself, are left with reservations about Imam’s suitability for such a crucial role.

FERMA is tasked with overseeing road construction, improvement, and connectivity between states, all under the umbrella of the Federal Ministry of Works. Their mission is to maintain all federal roads, a responsibility that directly impacts the safety and well-being of millions of Nigerians. It is not a position to be taken lightly.

On the surface, Imam’s academic qualifications are impressive. A first-class graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Brighton University is no small feat. His young age also brings a fresh perspective, which is always welcome in any organisation. However, the real crux of the matter lies in the practical expertise required for the role.

But road construction and maintenance in Nigeria is no walk in the park. It is a complex and intricate challenge that demands not just theoretical knowledge but also hands-on experience.

Nigeria’s unique road infrastructure challenges, from the unforgiving tropical climate to the sheer scale of the road network, require a chairman who is well-versed in the art of road management.

This raises a pertinent question: Does he have the experience necessary to navigate the intricacies of FERMA’s responsibilities? While youthfulness can be a strength, it can also be a weakness when it comes to handling the complexities of a crucial agency.

Some may argue that Imam’s family background in politics could provide him with insights on navigating the bureaucratic maze of government agencies. However, it’s important to remember that FERMA’s role goes beyond politics. It demands a deep understanding of engineering principles and the practical challenges of road maintenance and construction in the country.

In conclusion, it’s my hope that Imam’s tenure will be closely monitored, and the agency’s performance will not be compromised. Though only time will tell if this appointment will prove to be an inspired choice or a questionable one, as Nigerians, we should all hold our leaders accountable to ensure the well-being of our nation’s road infrastructure and, by extension, our daily lives.

 

Shafi’u Zubairu, Department of Mass Communication, Borno State University

 

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