Various Governors of states in Nigeria at a meeting scheduled to hold on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 with President Muhammadu Buhari will be present to demand the refund in the tune of N300.5bn spent on Federal Government projects in their respective states during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Following the inability of some states to pay their workers’ salaries, many states have stated the need for a bailout from the Federal Government as the only option available.
Earlier on the Nigeria Labour Congress had stated that 18 out of Nigeria’s 36 states were owing arrears of workers’ salaries.
Consequently, the Nigerian Governors’ forum, on Thursday, June 18, 2015 made a demand to President Buhari for the refund of money spent by the states on Federal Government projects.
Governor Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari of Zamfara State, who is also the elected Chairman of the NGF, stated “We all know that the economy of the country is in a bad shape.
“So, what we suggested and agreed on was that a number of state governors have executed various projects for the Federal Government.
“So, instead of looking for that (bailout), let us ask the Federal Government to settle that backlog owed us so that we can move forward.”
It was gathered that the amount owed each state ranged from N1bn to 105bn.
The list is topped by the Rivers State Government with a demand of N105bn spent on the construction and rehabilitation of federal roads and related infrastructure.
An official of the Rivers state government who pleaded to be anonymous due to the sensitivity if the matter, reported to newsmen that the amount was used to pay for the rehabilitation of over 405 kilometres of federal roads within the state and a few others linking the neighbouring states.
The official further listed some of the roads which included the Port-Harcourt-Owerri Road (Rivers axis), the Rmuokuta-Choba Road, the Aba Road(Eleme Junction interchange), the Ikwerre Road (from Park to Agip Flyover), to mention but a few.
The N105bn was said to be the amount spent by the Rotimi Amaechi administration and is expected to be demanded by the incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike to enable his administration meet its obligations to workers and continue with ongoing projects.
Following Rivers State on the list of refund demands is Lagos Sate which is reportedly owed N60bn.
This amount was spent by the past Lagos Sate administration of Babatunde Fashola on the rehabilitation of federal roads in various parts of the state.
Therefore, it is expectedtha Governor Akinwumi Ambide will demand a refund of the money to build on the achievements of his predecessor.
Governor Alhaji Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State will be demanding N17bn as refund from the Federal Government.
This is part of the money spent on the construction of the Dutse International Airport as well as the rehabilitation of several kilometres of federal roads within the state by his predecessor, Sule Lamido.
The amount said to be spent by Ogun Sate amounts to N4bn on the federal projects of the state.
While it has been reported that the present adminsitration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun also executed some federal projects in the state, a government official from Ogun state siad, “The figure we inherited was N4bn but we have worked on many federal roads and i am not sure of what has been certified with the government at the centre.
“The actual process involves the relevant Federal Ministry certifying the work and agreeing on the figure.
“If it’s a road, it is Federal Minsitry of Works; if it is environment, it will be Federal Ministry of Environment.
“A state government cannot unilaterally declare that the Federal Government owes it this or that, there is a process.”
Olalekan Alli, the immediate past Secretary to Oyo State government disclosed that the federal Government owed the state N40bn, which could rise to N60bn if other expenditures were calculated.
Ali while revealing this said, “The Federal Government owes this state N40bn on road projects done on its behalf.
“Government is a continuum and if past administrations acted on behalf of the Federal Government, subsequent governments should follow up and no matter who takes over at the top should respect the effort of the states and make a refund.
“The funds were sourced from various places and they came at various costs.
“The development is not only for the state but for the nation’s development.”
Governor Abdulfatah Ahemed of Kwara State in a response through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Muyideen Adorede, stated that Federal Government was yet to credit the state N10bn for the Kosubosu-Chikanda Road, Pategi-Kpada Road, the Phase 3 of Kosubosu-Chickanda Road and federal roads within the metropolis of ilorin.
He went further to reveal that the state government was presently spending N8bn on Kishi-Kaiama Road.
This brings the total amount owed to Kwara State by the Federal Government to N18bn.
Ugochukwu Emezue, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State disclosed the federal Governemt owed N10bn spent on the rehabilitation and dualisation of Ossah Road in Umuahia as well as other Federal routes within Aba metropolis.
Another source from Abia state mentioned that the Aba-Owerri Road was also rehabilitated by the state governement with the sum of N1bn.
Cross River State has also claimed N12bn, majorly from resurfacing pf failed federal roads in the state.
However, there had been a controversy over the aforementioned amount as the Federal Ministry of Works had shortly after that disclosure bemoaned that it was far from their assessment.
Director of the Press Affairs in Plateau State, Emmanuel Nanle revealed that N14bn was owed by the Federal Government, an amount said to be contained in a handover note from former Governor Jonah Jang.
Esueme Dan-Kikile, Commissioner for Information and Strategy for Bayelsa State Government through a text message to PUNCH disclosed that the state was owed N8.7bn
In his words, “As confirmed by the state’s Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor, the Federal Government is owing N4,6bn for the construction of Mbiama-Yenagoa Road.
“Also, the Federal Government is owing N4.1bn for the construction of Ekole (Goodluck Jonathan) bridge.”