Days after dispersing his ministers to visit states and douse the tension that arouses across the country over police brutality, President Muhammadu Buhari has again instructed his ministers to support Governors to actualize their developmental plan for the citizens.
Buhari stated that the federal government was not in competition with any state of the federation over project implementation of policies that could address citizens challenges within their domain.
The president’s stance was disclosed by Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, while inaugurating the Rebisi Flyover Bridge built by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in Port Harcourt on Saturday, which is one of five Flyover Bridges that are under construction simultaneously in the state.
Fashola, who had earlier visited the Rumuogba, Okoro-Nu-Odu, Rumuola and GRA Junction flyovers, stated that this informed the initiative to refund money spent on all federal roads to States.
According to him, the first tranche of the refund was about N577 billion, while the second tranche, for which, Rivers State is a beneficiary, is N148 billion.
“In the second tranche it was five states. Out of those five states, I think only two were APC states and it was a total of N148billiion and Governor Nyesom Wike and Rivers State got lion share. He got N78billion. Don’t sit here and think he has received N78 billion, he still has to go to National Assembly because this part of Nigeria borrowing plan” he said.
The minister, who took a walk on the 969. 4 metres’ long Rebisi Dual Carriage Flyover Bridge with his host governor, commended the decision to rename the facility after the community.
“This place use to be known as Garrison. But, clearly as we begin to shed our military toga and our democracy ages and deepen, we will see a rebirth in our unity, our oneness and our shared developmental aspiration” he said.
Wike said when the State Government flagged off the Rebisi, Okoro-Nu-Odu and Rumuogba flyovers simultaneously in October 2019, many sceptics, had questioned the possibility of the State completing the projects within the estimated time frame of 16 months.
He explained that the contractor, Julius Berger, worked assiduously, even during the COVID-19 lockdown, just to ensure that the projects were delivered on time.
“By December, we have to commission Okoro-Nu-Odu flyover. By February, we have to commission Rumuogba and Rumuola; by March-April, we will commission the GRA flyover” the governor said.
Wike expressed satisfaction that his administration has been able to fulfil the promise of constructing five Flyover Bridges, with one of them achieved in twelve months.
The governor said the flyover bridge by CFC/Corpus Christi bus stop will be expanded to make it the sixth flyovers project under construction in the state.
Wike, who noted the leadership role played by the minister in the assessment of the application for refund to the state money spent on federal projects and also appealed that the new flyover projects should be considered for refund.
The governor who frown at the refusal of traders to obey Government’s directive not to display their wares along the roads in order not to inconvenience road users. He said an executive order will be signed by him on Monday to discourage the practice.