The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said that Federal Government will raise bonds to refund money owed state governments that rehabilitated federal roads.
Fashola made the statement when he paid a courtesy call on Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State before proceeding on an inspection tour of some on-going federal road projects in the state on Saturday.
He said that the Federal Government had carefully assessed claims by affected state governments and concluded arrangements to refund all the monies.
“We have also been briefed about your intervention on certain roads that are federal roads and I and your commissioner have discussed the outstanding claims,
“My message from the Federal Government is that we have completed the assessment of all these claims and the total amounts owed the states far exceed the total amounts for works for the whole country this year.
“The plan of the Federal Government is to issue bonds to pay the money and then we pay the bonds back over time,’’ he said.
The minister, however, urged the Enugu State government to assist the contractors handling federal roads in the state to secure the right of way; considering that contractors had been fully re-mobilised to sites once more.
Responding, Ugwuanyi appealed to the Federal Government to refund over N25 billion which Enugu State Government spent on rehabilitating federal roads.
The governor, represented by his Deputy, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, said, that in the face of the dilapidating federal roads infrastructure in the Southeast region, the people of the area had continued to suffer untold hardship.
He said the hardship necessitated the intervention of the state government in rehabilitating some federal roads in its area of control and appealed to the Federal Government to hasten action in fixing the remaining roads.
“The people of Enugu State and, indeed, the entire Southeast region have for long suffered untold hardship arising from the collapse of most of the federal roads in the area.
“This of course, has been a great cause for concern for us as a people and has continued to attract complaints from well-meaning citizens and organisations across the country and beyond,’’ he said.
Ugwuanyi, who was represented by his Deputy, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, said.
The governor also assured the Federal Government of his administration’s readiness to assist it in obtaining right of ways to facilitate on-going work on some federal roads in the state.
The Federal Government and the states have been disputing the cost of repairing federal roads in their areas since the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
However, in November, 2016, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, announced that the Federal government would refund each state government N20 billion soon.