The Federal Government has pledged to refund the Rivers government N40 billion it expended on federal projects in the state.
The promise came when the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who led the Federal Executive Council verification team to accompany Governor Nyesom Wike on a tour of federal road projects executed by the administration, said President Muhammadu Buhari would abide by set rules of verification of federal road projects executed by the state government.
“The Federal Government has always cooperated with the people of Rivers State.
“Rivers State is the strongest economic base of the country, and anything that the government will do for the government and people of Rivers State, the Federal Government will respond accordingly.
“The president is a stickler for the rules. We have addressed this everywhere, except for five states, that we are now verifying. No state has had an issue, “
The minister noted that the Rivers government over the years did splendid work in the execution of key projects in the state.
“Terrific work has been done by the government and people of Rivers State on behalf of the Federal Government. The governor has taken us on extensive review of more than the six projects that we came to inspect,”
Nwajiuba expressed happiness with the tour of federal road projects executed by the state government.He said:
“I am glad we took time out to go and see all of them and verify them physically. We are really sure that the state government has done what is right.”
Governor Wike, on his part, said he was confident that the Federal Government would effect refund to the state for all it had expended on federal roads.His words:
“The minister has come with his team and I believe they will refund us the funds expended on the road.
“We have made submissions for refund, but we are yet to receive any refund from the Federal Government. I believe this last verification will come to fruition. I have confidence that they will refund us the money expended on federal projects.”
The tour commenced at the over 41.26-kilometre dualised Airport-Isiokpo-Elele/Omerelu road; the reconstructed Ikwerre road from Education to Agip flyover junction; construction of flyover at Agip-Rumueme-Abacha roundabout and the construction of flyover on East-West road at Obiri-Ikwerre with rotary turning and service lanes.
The verification team also visited the constructed Eleme junction flyover and interchange as well as the Ada George road phase one and two.
Wike said if the Federal Government fails to effect the refund as promised, he would raise an alarm.
“If they don’t refund, we will raise an alarm and tell the world to help us ask why we are being denied the refund,”