The Nigerian government has refuted claims by governors of the South-east region that their states were shortchanged in implementation of federal projects in the 2017 budget.
Director-General of the Southeast Governors’ Forum, Simon Otuanya, had stated in a report on the forum’s assessment of federal projects implemented across Nigeria that the region was practically abandoned.
In a statement on Thursday, the special assistant on media to information and culture minister, Segun Adeyemi, said the government is implementing 69 projects in the South-east.
”While this claim may have made headlines, it is totally untrue. His Excellencies were either misquoted or they were quoted ‘off’ context. Either way, this allegation flies in the face of available evidence,” the statement said.
It however did not provide full list of the implemented projects, but added that the minister, Lai Mohammed, would publish it soon.
According to the statement, Mr Mohammed said no part of the country, including the South-east, has been left out of the massive infrastructural projects of the current administration.
“Nigeria secured proceeds of N100 billion from Sukuk Bond, out of which the South-east got 16.6 billion Naira worth of projects, just like any other zone.”
The statement further added that the following projects currently ongoing in the South-east are parts of the projects covered by proceeds from the Sukuk bond.
“The Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway Section II (Umuahia) Tower-Aba Township Rail/Road Bridge Crossing in Abia State; Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway Section I (Lokpanta-Umahia Tower) in Abia State; Outstanding section of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway (Amansea – Enugu State Border) and the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway Section III (Enugu-Lokpanta) in Enugu State.”
The statement further claimed that the South-east region has never enjoyed infrastructural inclusion in the national budget, like it has in the current administration.
”In conclusion, the South-east has never had it so good in the area of infrastructure. Had the previous administrations done even half of what we are doing now in that region, no one will be complaining today. It is alright to ask for more, but it is unfair to say nothing has been done,” the statement said.