N23.7bn FG Roads Debt: Senate to Assist Enugu Govt’s Reimbursement

By Chris Ugwuja, Nsukka

The Senate Committee on Works has assured Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State that it will liaise with the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure reimbursement of N23.7 billion being owed the state on outstanding certified expenditure in respect of rehabilitation of federal roads in the state.

FG Roads Debt Senate to Assist Enugu Govt's ReimbursementResponding to a passionate appeal by Gov. Ugwuanyi for intervention on the outstanding debt, when the senate committee paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Enugu, the chairman of the committee, Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero, assured the governor that they will do their very best to ensure the money was paid. Members of the Works Committee were in Enugu State, in furtherance of their oversight function on Federal Highway Projects in the state.

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Gov. Ugwuanyi had, while addressing members of the committee informed them that the state government, following its interventions on federal roads in the state, was invited by the National Ad hoc Committee on Promissory Note Programme and Bond Issuance, on June 4, 2018, to settle the inherited local debts and contractual obligations.

The governor disclosed that it was established at the meeting that Enugu State was owed the sum of N35,873,332,998.00 “for interventions on federal roads from 2007 to 2018 and was certified for reimbursement”.

Consequently, Gov. Ugwuanyi told the senate committee that the state, is being owed the sum of N23,668,341,479.54, in outstanding reimbursable expenditure in respect of rehabilitation/reconstruction of federal roads in Enugu State, between 2007-2018.

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While maintaining that the interventions by the state government complied substantially with the conditions for rehabilitation of federal roads “including awarding these projects in accordance with the Federal Government specifications through the Federal Ministry of Works”, the governor reemphasized the value the sum would add to the lives of the people of the state “in this austere time, if reimbursed”.

Reacting, Senator Aliero, who noted that the debt ought to have been paid, since it has been certified by the Federal Ministry of Works after due process was followed, reassured the governor that his committee would intervene, stressing that “it can do quite a lot towards the development of this state, in education, health, rural electrification and even roads”.

Other senators at the event include Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Kabiru Gaya, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, Senator Clifford Odia and Senator Kabiru Barkiya.

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