The Federal Government has approved the release of N78,953,067,518.29 to the Rivers State government for the construction of three roads and three flyover bridges.
The reimbursement money scaled through at plenary after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) gave its direct approval with a stern order restraining states to stop further repairs of federal roads without first getting an approval.
In a related development, a refund was also made to four different states consisting of: Cross River with 20 roads and one bridge amounting to N18,394,737,608.85; Ondo with six roads amounting to N7,822,147,577.08; Osun with two roads and one bridge amounting to N2,468,938,876.78 and Bayelsa with five roads and one bridge adding up to N38,040,564,783.40.
However, the memo for the refund was presented by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at the third virtual council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja. Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that council put a stop to refunding state governments who might go ahead with such projects without the approval of the Federal Government. Mohammed, who briefed on behalf of the Works and Housing Minister said: “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 have 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 or completed, in line with federal standards.
“At the end of that exercise by an inter-ministerial committee, chaired by the Minister of Works and Housing which also had Ministers of Education, Transportation, Finance, Minister of State for Works, D-G BPP and Permanent Secretary, 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 they were federal government roads.