By Solomon Odeniyi
The government of the State of Osun would
get N7,822,147,577.08 as refund for the
money spent on federal road projects in the state.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on Wednesday approved the refund of a total of N148, 141,987,161.25 to the state, alongside four others.
While Osun will receive N2,468,938,876.78; Cross River will get N18,394,737,608.85; Ondo: N7,822,147,577.08 Bayelsa: N38,040,564,783.40 and Rivers takes N78,953,067,518.29.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was quoted to have said the memo for the refund was presented by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fasola at the virtual FEC meeting while briefing journalists after the meeting.
Alhaji Mohammed stated that the virtual FEC, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, considered claims of the five beneficiary states in the approved memo.
“You will recall that in 2016, 36 states of the federation sent a very huge bill to the Federal Government, asking for compensation for money that they had expended on federal roads.
“This prompted Mr. President to set up a committee to go and verify the claims of these 36 states, whether indeed these projects were actually constructed. Were they completed, in line with the Federal Government standards?
“At the end of that exercise by an inter-ministerial committee, chaired by the Honorable Minister of Works and Housing, but also had ministers of Education, Transportation, Finance, Minister of State for Works, DG, BPP and Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office as members.
“At the end of that exercise, the committee recommended that the Federal Government should refund N550,364,297.31 billion to 31 of the 36 states, after they were convinced that, yes indeed, the projects were completed and there were Federal Government roads. But the claims of five other states: Cross River, Rivers, Ondo, Bayelsa and Osun failed on the grounds that they did not do proper documentation and the committee felt they needed proper documentation.
“So the committee went back with new terms of reference to ensure that the claims of the five states were in order, which is why the BPP is on the committee. So at the end of the exercise, the committee now reported that the five states – Cross River with 20 roads and one bridge will get a refund of N18,394,737,608.85; Ondo with six roads will get a refund of N2,468,938,876.78; and Osun with two roads and one bridge will get a refund of N7,822,147,577.08.
“Others are Bayelsa with five roads and one bridge is to get a refund of N38, 040,564,783.40 and Rivers with three roads and three flyovers bridges is to get a refund of N78, 953,067,518.29.”
Mohammed said the committees confirmed the roads and the bridges, and that not only were they completed, they are in substantial good form, adding that some of the bridges and roads were built about 10 years ago.