Cross River To Demand Reimbursement Of NGN20 Billion Spent On Federal Roads

In Breaking News, National News, Politics, Reports

By CrossRiverWatch Admin

Cross River Deputy Governor, Ivara Esu (R) and Babatunde Raji Fashola, Works, Housing and Power Minister during the later’s visit to government house, Calabar

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has expressed delight about the readiness of the federal government to quickly fix the poor state of federal roads in the state even as he appealed, to the federal government to reimburse the state for all the funds it has spent to rehabilitate some federal roads in the state.

Governor Ayade stated this when the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, paid him a courtesy visit at the exco’s chamber of the Governor’s office in Calabar.

The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu while making his remarks said, ‘’Let me use this opportunity to welcome you, at this very occasion you have come to Cross River State. A state that behoves infrastructure, almost 80 or 70 percent in terms of roads belongs to the federal government.

“Honorable Minister, if you had come here during the rainy season, you will really pity us. We are virtually trapped, sometimes because of the poor nature of the roads, the bad state of the roads; trailers are falling every time, almost everyday people sleep on the road and so on. Therefore it’s really gratifying that you started very early.” He said.

Professor Esu who was very excited about the Minister’s decision to visit the governor’s office before embarking on his assessment tour of the federal roads in the state said, “l stand with my Commissioner for Works that insisted that you should come here first against your usual schedule of touring the projects before visiting the governor’s office.

“The federal controller has painted a picture l am so happy about which needs to be seen as we go around. What am saying is that, he said here that contractors have been mobilized to return to site. l will like us to use this time to check. He also lamented the poor state of the federal road at the Mbok junction and Abouchiche road and called for urgent attention from the Minister.

“We are very happy that you have come at this time, this is the time to do the roads, the dry season is here, and for us in this part of the country the rainy season will come very soon and therefore any contractor who has been mobilized must make up and go to site now, otherwise it will be a problem.

“We are going to be asking the federal government for the refund of money we spent on those roads, because we need the money to do other things in the state; we were forced to go and take our meager resources to commence some rehabilitation work in those places, I have no doubt that with you here, all will be well.’’

It will be recalled that the Cross River state Commissioner of Works had earlier told CrossRiverWatch that the State Government had spent over 20 billion Naira on rehabilitation of federal roads in the state.

Earlier in his speech, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, called for the strengthening of the relationship between the state and the federal government in the quest to implement the federal government programs.

He disclosed that the focal point of the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing is to partner with states to achieve the federal government programs.

According to him “I know there are shared challenges, but we will overcome them. They are things the state can do that the federal government is not suited efficiently to do and they are things the federal government is suited to do that the state governments are not able to do.

“Essentially, my message is that the federal government controller, a representative of the federal government is here, he is here to assist you, to support you. The federal government is not in competition with the state government, we exist to serve the states of the federation to achieve to their own defined objectives, their social and economic and spiritual obligation within the frame work of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” He said.

Some of the projects that are currently on going in the state, according to the federal controller include the Odukpani, Akpet, Abouchiche roads.

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