The Federal Government says it has paid N477bn to 24 states as refunds for construction and rehabilitation of federal roads.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said the refunds were made between 2015 to date.
Mohammed revealed this at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
According to him, the N477bn was the first tranche of such reimbursement.
He also revealed that a second tranche was on the way as FEC approved the sum of N18bn refund for Yobe State out of the N20bn bill it submitted.
A breakdown by the minister revealed that Rivers State received N100bn, Lagos N106bn, Akwa Ibom State received N61bn, Delta N56bn and Ogun N37bn among others.
The minister noted that some of the refunds where due before Buhari administration took over power in 2015.
He said, “I think it’s important to say that, well it’s true that we’re just reporting this particular memo, which is the refund being sought by Yobe State government; Yobe State government is asking for the sum of N18,663,843,109 as reimbursement for five federal roads, which they rehabilitated or constructed.
“A committee was set up to inspect the claim, they were actually found to be true. They reviewed the N20bn they asked for and certified 18 billion as refund due to Yobe State for undertaking the construction/rehabilitation of these federal roads on behalf of federal government.
“But this is not the first time. We have, since 2015, made refunds to about 24 states. If my records are correct and I want to put on record here that but for the benevolence of this administration, many states would have sunk under.
“You will remember that by the time we came in’ about 27 states of the federation were unable to pay salaries, they owed salaries and could not pay. It took this federal government to really bail many of them out so they could pay not only salaries, but also they could pay the arrears.
“When the price of crude crashed, this same government gave each state what is called a bailout and some of the states today that complain that they’ve never benefited from the federal government, especially the PDP states, are the ones that have taken the lion share of this reimbursement.
“The records I have here say that Akwa Ibom got the tune of N61bn from this federal government for works done on behalf of the federal government and especially before we came in. Rivers had upwards of N100bn. But we show that for this administration, it does not matter whether you are PDP or APC or you’re Labour or you’re APGA.
“The first tranche of these reimbursements about N477bn was refunded to many states; Edo got N8bn; Lagos got N106bn; Niger, N333m; Ogun, N37bn; Delta 56 billion; Ebonyi, 10 billion; Enugu N12bn; Jigawa, N10bn; Ekiti, 10bn and this was the first tranche.
“Second tranche and the last tranche, I think if I remember, I think it’s Yobe and two other states that are supposed to be the next batch.
“We have Yobe, which has gotten its N18bn today for works that they undertook on behalf of the federal government.”
Editor’s Note: Apart from headline report from THE PRECISION