By Naomi Sharang
The Kebbi Government appeared before the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts to defend its claims in respect of the road projects
executed on behalf of the Federal Government.
The state government is seeking for reimbursement of funds it used for the construction of two federal roads in the state.
Commissioner of Works and Transport in the state, Alh. Abubakar Ladan who appeared before the committee in Abuja, on Thursday said that the roads were federal government-owned contrary to claims in some quarters.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that kebbi state government had requested for a refund of N7 billion from the federal government
for the construction of Malando/Garin Baka/Ngaski road and Dabai/
NAN also reports that the committee had on Wednesday, Nov. 23, blamed the rescheduling of the Kebbi state request for N7billion to the failure of the state government to appear before the panel to defend the request.
The agency also reported that the Senate had however, approved the payment of N21,134, 368, 848.93 to Taraba and Yobe state Governments as refund for repairs carried out on Federal Government roads in the respective states.
The upper chamber had refused to consider the sum of N7 billion refund requested by the Kebbi State Government for the same purpose due to the failure to appear before the senate panel to defend the request.
Making his submission before the committee, Ladan said that the two roads in contention were constructed between 2006 and 2011 by the previous administration in the state.
“The road was initiated in 2005 but the contract documents were signed in 2006 by one time governor of the state, Adamu Aliero who is now a serving senator.
“Aliero was the originator of that project but due to time, it was inherited by former governor Saidu Dakingari. Dakingari completed the roads in 2011 at a little above N5 billion.”
Ladan further said that when the the present administration realised in 2016 that other state governments were reimbursed for the work done on federal government roads, “we submitted our request to the Federal Ministry of Works for consideration.
“In 2020, the ministry recommended that Kebbi state be approved for reimbursement.
“The Federal Executive Council (FEC) considered and approved the request on Sept. 7, 2022.
“Since there was no budget, the federal government sent for approval to the national assembly to pay us with two other states through promissory notes.”
Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi (PDP-Kebbi) reacting said that “they have made their presentation; they have brought all the information in their possession.
“All the information that is required is before the committee. The committee has its own standard of getting things done and take decision as about what to do so that they can inform the Senate on decisions which it has taken.
“Let the committee do its job,” Abdullahi said.
In his remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Clifford Ordia said that the promissory note programme was one that the federal government put in place to reimburse state governments who carried out construction of federal roads.
“We have listened very clearly to your submission and what is left is for the committee to sit down and take a position. We will get back to you,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking to news men after the interactive session, the commissioner said that the meeting was a fact finding sitting.
“We gave our points, we presented our documents. So it’s up to the committee to look at the documents to see whether what we said is correct or not.
“Kebbi state government constructed this road about 15 years ago using Government money.
“We have been pursuing this claims for federal refund for the last six years because we discovered that 24 states had been reimbursed and federal government utilised N477 billion to reimburse these states.
“That is why we applied to be considered for reimbursement since we also had constructed two federal roads which were certified by the federal ministry of works and approved by FEC.”(NAN)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza