AKWA IBOM, Nigeria – The Federal Government has made a refund of N20 billion as funds spent on the construction of roads by the Akwa Ibom State Government.
Ephraim Inyangeyen, Commissioner for Works, who made this known while inspecting gully erosion sites in Uyo, the state capital denied that N78 billion was refunded to the state government.
Inyang-Eyen, called on the Federal Government to release funds to Akwa Ibom to tackle ecological problems in the state lamenting that part of the Itu highway has been cut off by gully erosion.
“I wish that the Federal Government would consider Akwa Ibom State as part of Nigeria and give us ecological funds to tackle situations like this,” Inyang-Eyen stated.
According to him, it is pertinent for the federal government to carry out erosion control measures in Akwa Ibom adding that the site at Ntak Inyang and other areas scattered around the State posed huge risk to residents and commuters.
The level of devastation created by the erosion in the State according to the Commissioner is beyond what Akwa Ibom State Government can handle, thus, appealing the Federal Government to come to their aid through the Ecological Funds Office.
Inyang-Eyen used the occasion to announce the state government’s decision to create a diversion on one side of the erosion site to forestall any mishap by unsuspecting users of the highway.
Speaking on a radio programme in Uyo recently, Ita Enang, an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta, had stated that the federal government had refunded N78 billion to the state government as money spent on the construction of federal roads in the state.
He was speaking against the backdrop of his claims that the federal government had awarded contract for the construction of the highway which is now in a deplorable condition.
Ita Enang also urged the state government to emulate former governors Godswill Akpabio and Victor Attah who had spent state government funds to construct federal roads in anticipation of getting refunds.
But Works Minister, Babatunde Fashola, was quoted recently as warning states not to construct federal roads, adding that there would be no refunds.