The Anambra State House of Assembly has issued a resolution calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently reimburse the Anambra State Government the sum of N43.5 billion being the total amount expended on rehabilitation, maintenance and reconstruction of federal roads in Anambra State.
This resolution followed a motion moved to that effect by member representing Anambra East State Constituency in the state assembly, Honourable Obinna Chris Emeneka and was seconded by Hon. Nkoli Mmegbuaneze of the Idemili North State Constituency on Tuesday, May 24, 2018.
Disturbed by non-reimbursement of the said money to the Anambra State coffers since 2015, Emeneka said the situation has stalled the completion of other ongoing road projects thereby leading to undue delay in the completion and commissioning of such projects.
He informed his colleagues that owing to the deplorable state of major federal roads within Anambra State, the state government under Governor Willie Obiano, embarked on massive rehabilitation, maintenance and reconstruction of such roads.
According to him, the said road projects have been completely executed and the various contractors fully paid at the expense of the Anambra State Government while waiting to be reimbursed by the federal government despite the fact that several requests have been made for the reimbursement.
He disclosed that a whooping sum of N14.2 billion was expended on the contracts awarded for reconstruction, maintenance and rehabilitation of federal roads by Anambra State Government with presidential approval and in full compliance to the reimbursement guidelines, while N28.5 billion was spent by the state government on federal road contracts without presidential approval and another N697.2 million was spent on road contracts awarded based on verbal authorization by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, all totaling up to the sum of N43.5 billion.
He said that reimbursing the Anambra State Government the said sum will enable the state government to vigorously pursue other road projects to completion as well as fund other developmental projects.
While supporting the motion, Hon. Pete Ibida, representing Njikoka II Constituency, urged the federal government to play a gentleman game and reimburse the money spent by Anambra government on federal projects; so as to give the state financial relief to embark on other meaningful projects.
Hon. Nikky Ugochukwu, Orumba South Constituency, who said the motion, was long overdue, urged Buhari to reimburse the money so that Obiano will continue the goods he is doing.
The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Victor Jidofor Okoye (Anambra West); Hon. Chuka Ezenwune (Idemili South); Hon. Ikechukwu Umeh (Aguata); Hon. Nnamdi Okafor (Awka South I); as well as the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Hayford Ikechukwu Oseke (Awka South II); all spoke in support of the motion urging Mr. President to reimburse the money; which, according to the lawmakers, is more than the total sum budgeted by Anambra government for road construction in the 2018 fiscal year.
While ruling on the motion, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Rita Maduagwu, said that the money was spent by Anambra State government due to the deplorable condition of federal roads in the state; and with the belief and trust that the said money will be reimbursed to the state for other meaningful projects.
She called on the federal government to send a team to the state if it is still in doubt of said projects executed.