THE Federal Executive Council has approved the reimbursement of funds expended on federal roads by some state governments.
The total sum to be reimbursed to five states is N148,141,987,161.25.
Among states short-listed to benefit include Cross River N18,394,737,608.85, Ondo N7,822,147,577.08, Osun N2,468,938,876.78, Bayelsa N38,040,564,783.40 and Rivers N78,953,067,518.29.
The memo was presented by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at the third virtual council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari inside the Council Chambers of the State House.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who briefed State House correspondents on behalf of Fashola, said council had also warned that there will be no reimbursement in future should any state government venture into such projects without the nod of the government at the centre.
He 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, were they completed, in line with the federal government standards.
“At the end of that exercise by an inter-ministerial committee chaired by the Minister of Works and Housing but also had Ministers of Education, Transportation, Finance, Minister of State for Works, DG BPP and Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, as members.
“At the end of that exercise, the committee recommended that the federal government should refund N550,364,297.31bn to 31 of the 36 states, after they were convinced that, yes indeed, the projects were completed and there were federal 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 to get a refund of N7,822,147,577.08, and Osun with two roads and one bridge to get a refund of N2,468,938,876.78.
“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.”