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Abia considers legal option to recover funds spent on federal roads

By Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia
25 November 2021   |   3:00 am
Indication emerged, yesterday, that the Abia State Government may sue the Federal Government to recover the money spent on rehabilitating some federal roads in the state.

Okezie Ikpeazu

Indication emerged, yesterday, that the Abia State Government may sue the Federal Government to recover the money spent on rehabilitating some federal roads in the state.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu stated this at a media briefing in Aba, while reacting to a question on whether the state resort to litigation the federal government if the demands and pleas of the state for refund of what it spent on federal roads in the state failed.

He, however, affirmed that he would seek counsel from the state’s Attorney General on the matter, stressing that the state government was compelled to contemplate the option by the hardship the dilapidated federal roads was causing Abia people, other residents who use the roads and its economic importance in the state.

The Guardian learnt that the Port Harcourt road in Aba metropolis, which is being rebuilt into six lanes, the Osisioma-Eke Akpara, which traverses the NNPC Depot, Aba-Owerri road, among others, are some of the federal roads the state government had fixed.

“We are building roads that will last. We build roads in clusters. We have completed 41 roads in Aba and 20 others will soon be added,” he said.

He debunked the allegation in some quarters that the Faulks Road Aba linking the Aba-Owerri road to the Aba-Port Harcourt expressway, which traverses the Ariaria International Market had been completed, commissioned and delivered to the state government, saying the contractor has not delivered or handed over the road.

He also explained why Aba was prioritised, saying it was due to its position as the centre of industry, commerce, entrepreneurship and creativity, stressing that investors usually consider investing where facilities and infrastructure were available.

Ikpeazu expressed concern over Federal Government’s seeming poor attention to the state with respect to rehabilitating its roads in Abia or allowing the state government do them and thereafter refund what it expended.

He also pointed out the possibility of conspiracy against Abia State, adding that the state had made several attempts through letters and meetings with officials of the Federal Government to address the situation for the good of all stakeholders.

He noted that most of the ongoing road projects, including the Osisioma Flyover would be completed in the dry season.