The Senate has listened to the cries of Nigerians who have demanded the removal of the several speed bumps illegally erected on highways and have mandated the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to remove them and enforce compliance with speed limits.
The directive followed the adoption of a motion jointly moved by Senator Barnabas Gemade (Benue North-East) and Senator Stella Oduah (Anambra-North) at the plenary on Tuesday. The motion is titled “Urgent need to control the indiscriminate erection of speed bumps on federal roads nationwide.”
The Senate unanimously granted the prayers, including to “direct the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to the remove all the speed bumps indiscriminately erected on the federal highways, regulate and standardise the erection of all speed bumps.”
The lawmakers also urged the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to cause the owners of petrol stations to build service lanes of not less than 50 metres on both sides of the stations to prevent customers from turning directly to and from the highways.
They also asked the ministry to enforce the setback regulations for fixed structures along highways and urged the planning authority to implement regulations for motor parks, markets and places of worship.
Moving the motion, Gemade said the Senate noted “with dismay” the thousands of speed bumps recently erected on almost all federal highways nationwide ostensibly to control the speed of vehicles plying the roads.
According to Gemade, some of the hazards posed by the bumps to vehicle owners are “accelerated wear and tear of the vehicles, loss of many hours when quantified nationwide, and damage to vehicle suspension systems as most of these bumps are not professionally designed.”
He alleged that the Department of Highways in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing was not controlling the development of structures along federal highways, allowing illegal fixed structures to be erected less than the prescribed 45m off the roads.
He further alleged that planning authorities in the states and the Federal Capital Territory were not enforcing the regulations governing location of filling stations, markets and places of worship, resulting in total closure of the highways when these places were in use.
He said, “The Senate observes that these bumps are indiscriminately erected in several communities, villages, hamlets, near petrol stations, markets, roadside bukas and even individual homes.
“The Senate is aware that there is the need for speed control on our high ways to avoid speeding by motorists, especially around hospitals and schools. Interestingly, the Federal Road Safety Corps has introduced a speed control device to be installed in commercial vehicles, which took effect two months ago.
“The Senate believes that federal highways are meant for smooth traffic flow and there should be no constraints restricting the free flow of traffic; it is aware that these speed bumps now constitute nuisance source other than serve any useful purpose whatsoever.”
Seconding the motion, Senator Joshua Lidani said while Bauchi State had removed speed bumps from its roads, Nasarawa State still had many of them.
“I think there is the need for these speed bumps to be removed. If they have to be installed, let it be done professionally,” he stated.
But some senators including Baran Jibrin, Godswill Akpabio and Ike Ekweremadu warned that the removal of the bumps could lead to deaths as there were communities, schools and worship centres by the highways.
However, the senators voted in favour of the removal of the bumps.