Senate President Ahmed Lawan, has assured the Akwa Ibom state government and other states in the country, that he would liaise with the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure that money used in constructing federal roads in their respective states is refunded to them.
He gave this assurance during the commissioning of the 25 kilometers Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road, stated by the immediate past administration in Akwa Ibom state yesterday.
Lawan said the federal government’s gesture to refund all the monies spent on federal roads in Akwa Ibom would encourage other states government to embark on similar ventures in the hope that such funds would be returned to them to facilitate more of such interventions in their states.
According to him, governor Udom Emmanuel represents unity, peace, progress, and development, adding that he was right in all the actions he has taken.
“I must commend you for completing this project when it was left 20 percent completed. You took over to complete this road because of the love of your people, particularly the people of Ikot Ekpene. I must commend you for being progressive, what you have done here is to show the way how we can develop our country, our states and our communities.
“The business of infrastructure development, if it will serve the population and citizens of Nigeria must be the business of all tiers and levels of government.
“Your Excellency, though it is a Federal Government road because you want the people of Akwa Ibom to have very good road, you have put in the resources of this state to complete this road. This is very significant and of course, I heard you very clearly. When you said that the Federal Government should refund you the money spent on the construction of this federal road, you are right.
“What the Federal Government wants from sub nationals is cooperation and development together. What you have done on behalf of the federal government is to say I am ready for development not only of the state but the entire country. So, for you more than deserve a refund and I will join you in talking to the Minister of Works and Housing to present a request for a refund for this road because I believe that will encourage you to do more and other states governors to do the same with the hope that they will be refunded.
“I must also commend the federal government for providing refunds for states that have done something like this. I know Rivers had over N70 billion refunded and so many other states recently. You deserve this refund and I must push for that.
“Your Excellency, we are going to look at how we are going to link this road to Aba, which the federal government has awarded. I am going to look into that closely.
“The present administration of PMB believes in infrastructure development of Nigeria more than any other administration. This administration has put more resources in infrastructure development, especially roads. Therefore, I want to assure you that you have a worthy partner in the Federal Government.
“So, we will push the road up to Aba. We will find out what happened, why the contractor abandoned the road that was awarded to him.
“You are a governor who believes in the unity of Nigeria. You believe everyone in this country, regardless of ethnic, geopolitical zones must unite to move Nigeria forward. We are solidly behind the quest for making Nigeria peaceful and a progressive country”.
The Senate President acknowledged the fact that the country was passing through a challenging period, especially on security, noting that as leaders, all hands must be on deck to fight it.
“Today, our country is going through a trial period, we are going through some challenges. The purpose of any leadership at any level is to provide leadership in dealing with the challenges and the kind of challenges we face in this country today are the kind of challenges that all hands must be on deck.
“We need not only the Federal Government to deal with the challenges. We need sub nationals, the states, and even the local governments. When we hold our hands together we can surmount any challenge in this country. What is required of us is honesty and sincerity in our leadership.
“I believe that the time has come for Nigerian leaders to come together regardless of their political persuasion, regardless of their religious beliefs to salvage the various issues confronting our country”, he said.
Earlier, governor Udom Emmanuel, had requested the federal government to refund all monies the state had spent to fix federal roads in the state as such a gesture would encourage the state to reinvest in intracultural development for the benefit of the people.
Again, he appealed to the federal government to link up Abia State which is a few kilometers from Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom, noting that, such would also ease both vehicular and human movements between the two sister states; thereby promoting trade.