Enugu State Governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has lamented the failure of the federal government to settle a sum of N23.7 billion debt it owes the state being on outstanding certified expenditure on the rehabilitation of federal roads in the state.
The governor expressed concern on Friday when the Chairman, Senate Committee on Work, Senator Adamu Aliero paid a courtesy visit to the Government House, Enugu alongside others members.
The lawmakers, who visited the governor alongside Aliero, include Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Kabiru Gaya and Senator Chukwuka Utazi, among others.
While addressing members of the committee, Ugwuanyi said 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 was owed the sum of N35,873,332,998.00 for interventions on federal roads from 2007 to 2018 and was certified for reimbursement.
He added that the national ad hoc committee had explained that only the sum of N13,563,954,759.44 was as yet approved for reimbursement to the state by the Federal Ministry of Finance, disclosing further that “out of the above sum, the state has received the sum of N12,204,991,518.46”.
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.”
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 reemphasised the value the sum would add to the lives of the people of the state “in this austere time, if reimbursed.”
In response, the chairman of the committee pledge to assist the Enugu State Government to ensure reimbursement of N23.7 billion being owed the state on outstanding certified expenditure on the rehabilitation of federal roads in the state.
Specifically, Aliero said the money ought to have been paid, since the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing had had certified the projects after due process was followed.
The chairman, therefore, reassured the governor that his committee would intervene, stressing that it could “do quite a lot towards the development of this state, in education, health, rural electrification and even roads.”