Make public FG’s N18.4bn road repairs’ refund, IPAC tells Ayade

The alleged refund of N18.4 bilion to Cross River state by the federal government early this year for repairs of federal roads in the state is generating furore as Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in the state has called on Governor Ben Ayade to make public how the money was spent.

This was contained in a letter addressed to governor Ayade, dated April 16, 2021 and signed by IPAC Chairman in the state, Comrade Anthony Bissong, and made available to our reporter in Calabar, Sunday.

The letter, which was titled, ‘Request for details of N18.4 bn federal government refunds for repairs of federal roads in Cross River,’ read in part: “We write to request for details of the refunds made by Federal Goverment to Cross River State for repairs of 20 Federal roads and one bridge from 2005.

“Recall that on the 3rd of June, 2020, the Federal Executive Council approved the sum of one hundred and forty eight billion, one hundred and forty one million, nine hundred and eighty seven thousand, one hundred and sixty one naira and twenty five kobo only (N148,141,987,161,25) as refunds for road repairs to five States including, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun and Rivers State

“Out of the approved sum, Cross River State received a total of eighteen billion, three hundred and ninety four million, seven hundred and thirty seven thousand, six hundred and eight Naira and eighty five kobo (18,394,737,608,85) only.

“Furthermore, on the 13th of August, 2020, the Federal Govemment forwarded a letter to the National Assembly for approval of the money and both chambers of the National Assembly approved the money on the 24th of November, 2020.

“Consequently, this money was released to the affected states in January, 2021. We are worried that while other states have announced receipts of the money as well as enlisted projects for which the money will be expended, we have not heard anything from you or your media aides about this money.

“Is it that our share of 18.4 billion naira has not been released? We really need answers to enable us properly enlighten the people. This is also important to us as critical stakeholders of our state because arguably this is the biggest financial envelope in the history of our state.

“We advice that you kindly tell Cross Riverians everything about that money so that the matter will be put to rest. Your response to this burning issue is highly anticipated.”

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