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Ayade appeals for FG’s incentives, intervention in Cross River State

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The Cross River State government has canvassed special incentives and intervention from the Federal Government following its scarce resources, loss of Bakassi Peninsula and removal from 13 per cent derivation, among others.

A statement from the state government yesterday disclosed that Governor Benedict Ayade made the appeal during a visit of Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola to Calabar.

Fashola was in the state two weeks ago to inspect federal roads and declared that the Federal Government would not pay compensations for the expansion of the 16km road from Tinapa Junction to Odukpani Junction being built by the state government at over N20b, as it was now a cosmopolitan road attracting revenue to the state.

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But on his second visit to the state, Ayade appealed to Fashola and President Muhammadu Buhari for Federal Government’s intervention on federal roads for which state governments had made claims for refunds over the years.

Cross River has continued to foot the bill for rehabilitation of federal roads in the state and due to heavy traffic of massive trucks on the road since it remains a major source sand for road projects in the South-South.

Ayade said, “linking two communities is not a big challenge when a state is small, but when a state is large in terms of land mass, linking two communities is great deal. And so, we have a situation where a population of about 4.2 million people, distributed along 23,000 square kilometers of land, sharing local and international boundaries, which include maritime and land boundaries becomes a huge challenge.”

Ayade also sought special status for the state saying, “Transportation, particularly is a very big challenge and I think in the nature and manner of federal character, this special status and challenge require special attention.”

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Speaking earlier, Fashola disclosed that his second visit to the state within two weeks, which was at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari was for the Presidential Committee chaired by the Ministry of Works, other ministries and office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to inspect roads and determine which states have claimed the refunds for interventions done over the years.

“Our mandate from the President remains the same. We are not in competition with any state and our duty is to provide all the support that we can to every state government to achieve developmental objectives.

“We have inspected a couple of roads including Obudu and others to assess the level of intervention that we have undertaken on those roads and verify that they were actually done.

“We will submit our report and we will present it before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to take a decision with respect to the claims of Cross River State,” he said.

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