The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at the weekend announced that the Federal government would raise bonds to refund billions of Naira owed states that spent their money in rehabilitating federal roads in their respective domains.
He spoke in Enugu on Saturday during a courtesy call on the deputy governor, Cecilia Ezeilo, who appealed to the federal government to refund over N25 billion which Enugu government spent on federal roads.
Mrs. Ezeilo told the minister that in the face of the dilapidating federal roads infrastructure in the South East region, the people of the area continued to suffer untold hardship.
Mr. Fashola, who was in Enugu to inspect some federal roads in the State, stated that the federal government has carefully assessed the various claims by the concerned state governments and has concluded arrangements to refund the money through bonds.
“We have also been briefed about your intervention on certain roads that are our roads and I and your Commissioner have discussed about the outstanding claim from the federal government, and 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 as to the whole country.
“The plan of the federal government is to issue bonds to pay those money and then we pay the bonds back overtime,” he stated.
He urged the state government to assist the contractors handling federal roads in the state to secure the right of way, informing that they have been re-mobilized to sites.
Mrs. Ezeilo regretted the neglect of the federal roads in the South East states, especially in Enugu state which, according to her, necessitated the intervention of the State government in rehabilitating some of the federal roads in her domain.
“The people of Enugu State and indeed, the entire South East region have for long, suffered untold hardship arising from the collapse of most of the federal roads in the area,” she said.
“This of course, has been a great cause for concern for us as a people and has continued to attract comments and complaints from well-meaning citizens and organizations across the country and even beyond.”