FG can’t refund states for money spent on Federal Roads now – Works Minister
The Federal government cannot refund money spent on Federal Roads by State Governments for now, says Works Minister David Umahi.
Umahi made this known on Thursday when he visited Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister is on a two-day working visit to Oyo State.
”The economy right now will not permit any commitment by the federal government.
”However, records of such road projects done by the states would be kept and could be revisited when the economy improves,” he said.
He commended Makinde for his administration’s intervention in road projects.
The minister said that the intervention was alleviating people’s suffering.
“Be it state or federal roads, we are one government. The aim and oath of office is to place the welfare of the people ahead of any other interest,” he said.
Umahi urged Makinde to embrace Concrete Pavement Technology in road construction projects, saying it was more durable and less expensive to asphalt roads.
He said road projects with concrete pavement in Lagos State had been successful, adding that he built almost 95 percent of road projects on concrete pavement as Governor of Ebonyi.
Speaking on the purpose of his visit to Oyo State, the Minister said that he was touring federal government road projects in the South West.
Umahi said he had met with all the contractors handling road projects in North West, North Central and South West, in Abuja.
“After the meeting, I decided to visit these projects to know the quality of the work done and other things on ground,” he said.
He further sought the cooperation of the Oyo state government in achieving success on federal government’s projects in the state.
Responding, Makinde appreciated the minister’s visit.
According to him, Umahi’s track record while governing Ebonyi speaks for itself.
The governor said that his administration prioritised roads as a project that was important to economy.
“We are committed to rehabilitation and reconstruction of many road projects, be it state or federal roads.
“For example, the 34km Oyo-Iseyin road took us two years to get approval from the federal government, and we awarded it to contractor immediately we secured the approval because of its important to the agri-business of the state.
“The road will be inaugurated on Sept. 15 by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. We are not asking for refund immediately, but the records are there, and we will give it to the Minister,” he said.
Makinde further said his administration would continue to invest on road infrastructure for the development of the state.
He told the minister of his willingness to partner with the federal government to dualise the Oyo state portion of the Ibadan-Abeokuta road.
The governor also informed the minister that he had agreed and his counterparts in Ogun and Lagos States to light up Lagos-Ibadan Road.
He said the road was the most busiest road in the country and that lighting the entire stretch of the road would enhance security on the road corridor.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.