Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing has announced that the Federal Government will no longer make refund to states that repair federal roads.
He advised the states to concentrate on state-funded roads. Fashola announced the paradigm shift in federal-state relations on Thursday, October 10th while defending the budget of his works component of his ministry before the Works Committee of the House of Representatives.
“When we came in, we inherited quite a number of such debts from states which repaired Federal roads and asked for refunds. The President directed that we pay all those that were approved by the previous government.
“He also directed that states should concentrate on their own roads and that states can only get involved in Federal roads, if they are repairing them and not coming to ask for refund,” he said.
The minister complained that the N157b capital budgetary allocation to his ministry is too little, as it is not enough to pay contractors for jobs already done. According to him the Ministry needs N306 billion to pay contractors for jobs already done, while N2.93 billion was pending in unpaid certificates under the multilateral-funded projects.
The minister said the Federal Government has about 524 ongoing road projects across the country, with four multilateral-funded road projects, 81 roads under the Presidential Infrastructural Development Fund (PIDF) and 45 others being funded under the Sukuk bond. Fashola said N255 billion was required to fund some of the major roads, adding that the ministry was focusing on roads that help to open up the economy and make the ease of doing business less cumbersome.
The minister listed some of the projects under the PIDF to include the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road, the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Express Road, the Mambilla Hydro project and the East-West road.