Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, says the Federal Government hopes to raise bonds to refund billions of naira used by state governments to repair federal roads.
Fashola made this known in Enugu on Saturday, when he paid a courtesy call on Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi before he inspected federal roads under construction in the state.
He said that the Federal Government had assessed claims by state governments that invested on such road projects, adding that plans were being made to refund the money.
“We have also been briefed about your intervention on certain federal roads.
“My message from the Federal Government is that we have completed the assessment of all these claims and our plan is to issue bonds to pay those money and then we pay the bonds back over time,” he stated.
The minister appealed to state government to assist contractors handling federal roads in their state to secure the right of way, adding that the contractors had mobilised to sites.
Responding, the governor who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Cecelia Ezeilo, appealed to the Federal Government to refund the more than N25 billion the state expended on the rehabilitation of federal roads across the State.
Ugwuanyi said that the people of the state had continued to suffer untold hardship as a result of the deplorable conditions of the roads.
He said that the neglect of the federal roads in the South East, especially in Enugu, necessitated the intervention of the state government.
“The people of the state, and indeed the entire South East region, have for long suffered untold hardship arising from the collapse of most of the federal roads.
“This of course, has been a great cause for concern for us as a people and has continued to attract comments and complaints from well meaning citizens and organisations across the country and even beyond,” he said.
He said that the refund would assist the state settle other critical areas of needs. Ugwuanyi assured the Federal Government of his administration’s readiness to assist in obtaining right of ways to facilitate work on the roads.