As FG raises bonds to settle billions owed states on federal roads.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, at the weekend announced that the Federal government would raise bonds to refund billions of Naira owed states which have spent their money in rehabilitating federal roads in their respective domains.
During his courtesy call on Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Minister was urged to facilitate the refund of over N25bn, which Enugu State government expended in rehabilitating some federal roads across the State.
Governor Ugwuanty was represented on the occasion at the Government House, Enugu by his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, who 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, said that the federal government had carefully assessed the various claims by the concerned state governments and had concluded arrangements to refund the money through bonds.
The minister took time to shed more light on Enugu government’s intervention on federal roads.
“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.
Fashola 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, expressed regret that the neglect of the federal roads in the South East states, especially in Enugu state, necessitated the intervention of the State government in rehabilitating some of the federal roads in her domain.
She said that the hardship suffered by the road users left much to be desired and requested the federal government to hasten action in fixing the remaining roads.
The Deputy Governor spoke further, saying that “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.
“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. Mrs. Ezeilo explained that the refund of over N25billion to the State would assist the State in other critical areas of needs.
A breakdown of the N25bn owed the Enugu State Government by the federal government show that the request for refund of the initial sum of N22.8bn had been presented to the federal government while a request for the refund of another N2.297bn being cost of the latest work on other federal roads in the state was made on Friday.
The Deputy Governor assured the federal government of Governor Ugwuanyi administration’s readiness to assist it in obtaining right of ways to facilitate work on the roads.