FG to reimburse states for federal roads repairs – Fashola

By The Citizen

The Federal Government on Friday assured that it would reimburse states that repaired federal roads.

Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, in Ibadan during a courtesy call on Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.

Fashola was in the state to assess the level of some ongoing federal government projects and inauguration of the completed federal housing units.

He said that effort was ongoing to refund to Oyo State Government its intervention fund on federal road projects.

The minister commended the governor for rehabilitating some federal roads, assuring him that the federal government will refund the funds expended soon.

'A lot of progress has been made in quantifying the level of intervention and outstanding liabilities made on the federal roads by states through the concerned ministries and agencies and will soon be approved,' he said.

Fashola said that the level of work ongoing on the federal roads was a turnaround from what obtained before the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration.

'Most of these roads have been awarded eight years ago and the contractors have since abandoned them due to lack of funding. But today the contractors have returned to site.

'The federal government is not in competition with any state government but to assist them in all ramifications for social economic development.

'Our purpose is to help state governments connect to one another and to enhance efficiency in the movement of goods and persons,' he said.

He said that the ongoing road projects have facilitated employments for residents, adding this is reducing unemployment rate in the states.

Fashola said that the infrastructural projects had achieved job creation for the teeming residents of the state.

'We can tell you authoritatively that the ongoing projects have employed over 1,000 residents at the various sites. This to a large extent will drive the economy out of recession,' he said.

He called for the return of Oyo state government to the National Housing Fund programme, noting that the state is no longer participating in the programme.

The minister said that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) was changing and now completing projects.

Fashola said that the FMBN was now returning a surplus of N2.7 billion, which he said was the highest recorded in the last 20 years.

Fashola appealed to the governor for additional 10 hectares of land to the initial four hectares allocated to them for the construction of federal housing units in the state.

He also appreciated the cordial relationship between officers of federal government and that of the state governments.

Mr Anya Omerekpe, the Federal Controller, Federal Ministry of Works in Oyo State, said that the ministry was managing 1,156 kilometres of federal roads in the state.

He stated that there are 11 ongoing federal government road projects in the state, thanking the state government for its cooperation.

Responding, Ajimobi commended the Fashola for his outstanding performance since inception as a minister, describing him as a field minister.

He said that he has never doubted Fashola's capability of delivering as a minister, adding that he performed creditably well as the governor of Lagos State.

Ajimobi said that the state has never experienced the unprecedented presence of a minister in terms of infrastructural development like Fashola.

The governor ordered the release of 10 additional hectares of land to the federal ministry of housing for the building of housing units in the state.

The minister also inaugurated 100 federal housing units in Ogbomoso and inspected ongoing housing projects at other locations in the state. - The News.