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Umahi: Why FG can’t refund money spent by states on federal roads

Umahi: Why FG can’t refund money spent by states on federal roads
September 01
10:26 2023

David Umahi, minister of works, has explained why the federal government cannot refund money spent on federal roads by state governments.

Umahi spoke on Thursday when he visited Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo state, in Ibadan.

The minister said he was touring federal government road projects in the south-west and commended Makinde for his administration’s intervention in road projects.

He said the intervention was alleviating the suffering of people.


The minister said the state of the economy would not permit any refunds but noted that when the country’s financial state improves, the records of work done would be checked.

“Let me commend you for the jobs you are doing here. When I see examples of what I am preaching, in terms of alleviating the sufferings of the people, whether federal or state roads,” Umahi said.

“I have seen a number of roads and you are not saying you must have all the approvals before doing it. Let me make it very clear that our economy right now will not permit any commitment of the federal government to repay states that are doing federal roads.


“It is still one government and the aim of government and the oath of offices sworn to is to place the welfare of the people ahead of any other interest.

“So, when I see governors that are doing exactly that, like governor Seyi Makinde, I commend him very highly. But, we can all keep the records of the federal roads done by the states. When the economy starts to breathe, we can revisit that.

“If you are waiting for due process by the federal government saying it will refund, such will not be done but it is the people that are suffering.

“So, I want to make it very clear that my commitment may not be to guarantee that there will be repayment but I will guarantee to take the records and when the people are smiling, both the states and the federal government can revisit the matter and that is what the governor here is doing and we’re excited.”


Umahi urged Makinde to embrace concrete pavement technology in road construction projects, saying it was more durable and less expensive than asphalt roads.

In his remarks, Makinde appreciated the minister for the visit, saying Umahi’s track record while governing Ebonyi state speaks for itself.

“We are committed to rehabilitation and reconstruction of many road projects, be it state or federal roads,” Makinde said.

“For example, the 34km Oyo-Iseyin road took us two years to get approval from the federal government and we awarded it to the contractor immediately we secured the approval because of its importance to the agri-business of the state.


“The road will be inaugurated on September 15 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.”

He added that the state is not asking for a refund immediately “but the records are there and we will give it to the minister”.


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