By Shola Abayomi.
Following an inherited debt of about N1 Trillion accrued from the repair of federal roads across the country by state governments, the Federal Government has warned state governors to steer clear of fixing federal roads.
The directive was made known by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola during an interactive session with the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Abandoned Federal Government Projects (Works) from 1999 till date.
According to the minister, the humongous bill submitted by the state governors as compensation was more than the budget of the ministry.
The Federal Government hence, instructed the governors to leave federal roads alone if they would ask for compensation after fixing it.
The minister said: “What has happened to states; that’s another thing. The states submitted a bill of almost N1 Trillion when President Buhari was elected. He asked us to work out what was their entitlement and all of that.
“Ultimately, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) certified about N454 billion. I don’t remember the exact amount now, except for two states. I think Cross River. There’s another state that didn’t have the documents at the time.
“But the decision to pay those inherited debts, including the ones I contracted as governor of Lagos, was with the caveat that I should tell the governors to leave Federal roads alone. Those were the directives. I was not the one that took the decision.”
President Muhammadu Buhari was quoted by Fashola as saying, “Tell them not to fix my roads again if they’re going to claim compensation. If you want to fix it and not ask for compensation, send me what you want to do. But if you want compensation, go and mind your business while I mind my business. This is because I have inherited enough debts.”