Akwa Ibom State is second on the list of 21 states in the country to get a whopping N78.7 billion refund approved by the Senate on Federal projects executed by the state government over the years.
Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Works, had told journalists in May 2018 that the Federal Government was owing Governor Udom Emmanuel administration N140 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of 44 major road projects across the state.
Senator Victor Umeh (APGA, Anambra Central) who stated this Thursday in an interview with newsmen in Awka said Senate approved N489 billion to be refunded to states as funds spent on federal projects in their areas.
Umeh spoke in his capacity as a member of the Ad-hoc Committee on Promissory Note Programme and Bond Issuance that approved the refund.
He said the refund became possible following the rescinding of an earlier Senate resolution on the committee’s interim report of June 7.
“The Senate decided to settle some of the outstanding claims and liabilities of states in the sum of N488,743,526,204.77 based on state by state claims,” he said.
According to him, Lagos State topped recipients of the refund with N114.6 billion.
“Zamfara State will get N60.02 billion from the refund; Ogun, N59.2 billion while Anambra will receive N37.95 billion.”
He explained that Anambra presented a bill for N43 billion but N37,970,048,097.03 was approved for the state.
“The approval of the refund followed a motion by Sen. Francis Alimikhena (Edo-North) that the Senate should settle inherited local debts and contractual obligations on refund to state governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.”
Umeh enjoined the Federal Government to release the money on time so that states especially, Anambra, could put such fund to use.
“The Deputy Governor of Anambra, Dr Nkem Okeke and I, led the Anambra delegation to the refund defence.
“I devoted my time to it because Gov. Willie Obiano is doing well and needs as much assistance as possible to continue his good work,” he said.