There are indications that the Federal Government and states are heading for a fresh battle over the delay in refunding the money spent by the state governments on federal roads.
Various state governments in separate interviews with The PUNCH expressed concern about the delay by the Federal Government in refunding the money.
Investigations showed that the Federal Government owed Sokoto State N16.8bn; Cross River State, N25bn; Ekiti State, N11bn; Anambra State, N15bn; and Gombe State, N6.34bn.
Recall that the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, (SAN), on September 24, said President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the state governments to stop rehabilitating federal roads.
According to the minister, the President gave the directive due to the huge amounts of money being claimed by the governors after repairing federal roads in their states.
Fashola, who said this when he appeared before the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on Abandoned Federal Government’s Projects, stated, “The states submitted a bill of almost a trillion naira when President Buhari was elected. He asked us to work out what was their entitlements. Ultimately, the BPP (the Bureau of Public Procurement) certified about N44bn, I don’t remember the exact amount now.
“The decision to pay those inherited debts, including the ones I contracted as governor of Lagos State, was with the caveat that I should tell the governors to leave (the Federal Government’s) roads alone. Those were the directives; I was not the one that took the decision.”