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Buhari authorizes a 143 billion naira return to five states

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According to Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, the Buhari administration is reimbursing five states for the cost of reconstructing Federal highways.

Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of State for Works and Housing, said that the Buhari administration has returned N143 billion to five states for federal road reconstruction.

He made the revelation during a visit to Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu at Government House in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.

The minister, who is an engineer by profession, was in Kebbi to inspect the state government’s progress on the building of many federal highways in the state.

“Of the overall length of roads in the nation, around 34,000 kilometers are within the federal government’s authority, of which we are presently working on over 13,000 kilometers concurrently with over 800 contracts.

“Before today, certain states may have been compelled, out of necessity, to approach the federal government and request authorization to construct federal highways within their borders.

“They will be granted authorization by the federal government and will be compensated afterwards. Prior to or around 2016, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) established a committee to verify and approve road building projects undertaken by various state administrations.

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“The committee chaired by Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, was able to clear and verify 25 states that constructed federal government highways in their jurisdictions.”

He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the payment of N477 billion to the 25 states.

“This is the third group, with Yobe and Taraba States, in which Kebbi is included.”

“As I speak with you, the Minister of Works and Housing will be in Yobe tomorrow to inspect and check the state’s road development, while the Minister of Education will be in Taraba to do the same.

“That is why I am here today with my team; the secretariat is housed at the SGF’s office, and that is why you see me with the Cabinet Office’s Permanent Secretary, to come and verify the two roads as you requested.”

Gov. Bagudu expressed gratitude for the minister’s visit and commended the current administration for finishing one of the legacy highways it inherited, the Sokoto-Tambuwal-Kontagora route.

“This is one of the most vital highways since it not only connects neighboring states to the Federal Capital Territory, but also serves as the primary entrance to Lagos.

“I recall in 2015, when we arrived before to the road’s completion, whenever we had security council meetings, it was a nightmare for the Emir of Yauri to attend, but now he looks forward to attending.

“This is one of the several unfinished roads that the President Buhari government inherited and has either completed or is in the process of completing. This is really admirable.

“Though the President could not have accomplished it without a competent team, we appreciate the ministry’s efforts as well.”

Apart from completing inherited projects, Bagudu noted that the current administration has been able to launch and implement new massive projects around the country.

Alhaji Abubakar Chika-Ladan, the state Commissioner for Works, informed the governor that he accompanied the visitors on an inspection of the Dabai-Mahuta-Koko road, which was completed in 2006 at a cost of N4.8 billion.

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