Cash-strapped states in the federation are to receive a succour of N720 billion from the Federal Government.
The money is a refund of part of the money the states spent to fix dilapidated federal infrastructure, especially roads.
The cheering news was broken by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, when he visited the Igwe of Ogwuekpele, His Royal Highness Igwe Valentine B.C. Onyema Ogidiga, in Ogwuekpele, Anambra State.
Dogara disclosed that the Federal Government would refund N20 billion to each of the 36 states of the federation for infrastructural development.
In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Iliya Habila, the Speaker said that when the debts are refunded, it would assist states in providing critical infrastructure in their respective states.
He said: “As regards to debts being owed the states, I can announce that very soon, a chunk of money will be given to states. It’s being processed and I know that no state will get less than N20 billion from the money.
“That will be something substantial in the hands of the governors. Those that are spirited, I believe, will be able to translate that money into development so that they can support the diversification of the Federal Government”.
Responding to the Igwe Ogidiga’s concern on decaying infrastructure in the state, Dogara said that the Federal Government was planning to invest more on infrastructure.
Dogara said: “Without capital you cannot invest; so, these are the two things that this government is devoted in.
“By doing so, Nigerians can have enough capital, they will have the needed infrastructure for the establishment of functional industries for the evacuation of either solid minerals or agricultural products.
“And we know that agriculture has the potential of providing employment for the majority of our people.
“And I can assure you that when we talk about diversification, it is not just on paper. There have been efforts by the government to source money so that they can begin in earnest in putting up infrastructure, functional road networks, inter-model and multi model connectivity of our transportation and talk about building airports, railways and integrating them with land transportation.
“These are the things that are on the agenda and then giving citizens access to cheap capital that they can use to better their lives and start businesses and provide employment that will earn us foreign exchange.”
Earlier, Igwe Ogidiga had urged the government to ensure the provision of infrastructure such as roads in Anambra to enable farmers transport their produce to the market.
He also appealed to the government to refund money spent by the state governments on some federal projects to enable them provide more facilities.