Reimburse us money spent on your roads – Gombe pleads with FG
Gombe State Government has pleaded with the Federal Government to reimburse it with about N60billion spent on redeveloping and maintaining the federal highways in the state.
The commissioner for works and transportation, Abubakar Bappah, on Thursday told newsmen that the Federal Government flouted many agreements of financial reimbursement reached before the projects began.
“Federal government is owing us some money, since the coming of this administration, we have not received a kobo as reimbursement for the projects executed,” Bappah said.
“The federal government has failed in maintaining the roads in our metropolis,” adding that it was for the reason that the state sought and secured the approval of the federal government to develop them, “since they can’t come, we often seek their consent before embarking on them and then later seek for reimbursement as we progress.
“Under this arrangement, Gombe state government has done a lot of roads particularly in the township.”
“We have developed some portion of Gombe-Bauchi federal highway, at N7.5billion, the federal government is yet to pay us.
“We have also developed some portion of Gombe-Yola federal highway for about N4billion, reimbursement has not been fully effected and we have also undertaken the development of Kanawa-Deba-Jagali road under the agreement of reimbursement by the federal government.
“We have been appealing to the federal government for the reimbursement.”
He, however, regretted that “though we understand the financial constraints the federal government is facing, it is the same thing with us but then we are seriously appealing to them.
“So the federal government is saying all the time that it will reimburse us and we are waiting,” he hoped.
On Gombe Line, the commissioner stated that the state had been able to defray N127million of the bank loan it took to procure 50 buses to boost the state’s transportation.
He recalled, “you are aware that when this administration came on board, Gombe Line was almost completely collapsed and, to revive it, Gombe state had to buy new buses.
“We bought 50 news buses and rehabilitated the old ones and the transport sector came to life once more.
“Government has paid up N127million to banks in respect of the 50 buses we purchased to boost Gombe Line,” he said, adding that the repayments were generated by the buses.
He reemphasised the Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s poise to construct 100-kilometre of road in each of the 11 local government, noting, “Eleven 100-kilometer roads is governor’s desire to ensure that by the end of his administration, he would have been able to do a minimum of 100 kilometres of roads in each 11 local government and we are pursuing it vigorously.
“So far, almost all the local governments have road constructions ongoing, some of them were awarded by the last administration but abandoned for lack of payment.
“You may wish to recall that before the last administration left, it awarded over 15 roads for construction. Unfortunately, the contractors were not paid, they were not mobilised.
“But when we came on board, as part of our desire to embark on the completion of those roads, we are working on all of them for us to ensure we deliver our promise of delivering 100-kilometer of road in each local government.”
He allayed the insinuation that the state was owing foreign contractors working in the state, disclosing that, “payments are on course to all our contractors. Whenever they submit valuations, we subject these valuations to settlement; we subject these valuations to scrutiny, we agree on what exactly they have executed in line with the due process office and send the proposal to ministry of finance and they have been up-to-date.”
The state is, however, considering sola traffic light to illuminate its metropolis.
“As a permanent solution to the problem of street lights, we are looking at the possibility of using solar street lights and to this effect, we have started shopping for a contractor that will provide solar street lights on most of our streets,” Bappah said.
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