Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has promised to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure the refund of money spent by Akwa Ibom State government and other states in the construction and rehabilitation of federal roads.

He made the promise, yesterday, while inaugurating the 25- Kilometre Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road in Akwa Ibom State. He said the refund of money invested  on federal roads in Akwa Ibom State  would encourage other state governments to embark on similar projects knowing they would get a refund to pursue other infrastructural development in their states.

He praised Governor Udom Emmanuel for the completion of the project kick-started by his predecessor and for representing unity, peace, progress and development in his administration of the state.

“I must commend you for completing this project  left 20 per cent uncompleted. 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 on how we can develop our country, our states and 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.”

Lawan said Emmanuel’s  commitment to infrastructural development was a sign of his love for people of the state.

“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 construction of this federal road; you are right. What the Federal Government wants from sub-nationals is cooperation and development. What you have done on behalf of the Federal Government is to say I am ready for development, not only the state, but the entire country. So, you deserve refund, and I will join you in talking to the Minister of Works and Housing, to present a request for refund for this road. I believe that this will encourage you to do more and other state governors to  do the same with that hope that they will be refunded.”

Lawan also commended the Federal Government for providing refunds for states that have done similar projects, citing the refund of N70billion to Rivers State as an example in recent times.

“You deserve this refund and I must push for that. We are going to look on how we are going to link this road to Aba, which  the Federal Government has awarded contract for. I am going to look into that closely.  We will push the road up to Aba.”

The Senate President acknowledged that the country was passing through a challenging period, especially on security, noting that, as leaders, all hands must be on deck to resolve the crisis.

Governor Emmanuel had requested the Federal Government to refund all monies the state had spent to fix federal roads as such gesture would encourage the state to reinvest on other infrastructural projects for the benefit of the people   

He also  appealed to the Federal Government to link up Akwa Ibom with Abia State, which is a few kilometres from Ikot Ekpene, with good roads, noting that such would ease both vehicular and human movements and promote trade and commerce between the two states.

SUN