The Senate has authorized ₦148 billion as the debt payable to five states; Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun and Rivers State for road projects executed on behalf of the federal government.
The upper legislative chamber approved the money after Clifford Ordia, chairman of the committee on local and foreign debts, presented a report for the consideration of his colleagues.
Bayelsa will get ₦38 billion, Cross River, ₦18 billion, Ondo ₦7 billion, Osun ₦4 billion and Rivers, ₦78 billion.
While presenting his report, Ordia said the committee visited the project sites and saw the contracts signed by the states and the contractors as well as evidence of payment.
“The following people were invited – permanent secretary federal ministry of finance, commissioners of finance and works of Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Osun, Rivers, Ondo,” he said.
“Copies of approval by the federal government through the ministry of works and housing for the execution of projects in the state, copies of contract agreement between the affected states and contractors that handled the projects, copies of clearance by the BPP, evidence of payment by the state governments to the contractors were also seen.”
On his part, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the federal government has shown “remarkable leadership” because the All Progressives Congress (APC) states on the list got the least refund.
“If you look at the list of states, only two are APC states and they have the least refund,” Lawan said.
“This is fantastic and remarkable leadership by the federal government because this shows tolerance and leadership by this administration.”
A recommendation by the committee to pay the states the refund was approved after Lawan put it to a voice vote.