No refund for federal roads repairs, FG tells governors
President Muhammadu Buhari has asked state governors not to fix federal roads if they will eventually demand refund for the rehabilitation.
“He said, ‘Tell them not to fix my roads again if they’re going to claim compensation. If you want to fix it and not ask for compensation, send me what you want to do. But if you want compensation, go and mind your business while I mind my business because I have inherited enough debts!’”
-Punch Newspaper of 25 September, 2019
How does this affect Abia State?
The following federal roads in Abia State have been in terrible conditions and form the fulcrum of the bad road pictures shared via various social media platforms as so called evidence that the state government is not working:
1. Port Harcourt Road, Aba
2. Umuahia – Port Harcourt portion of the Enugu – Onitsha Express Road including Osisioma Junction, Ariaria Junction etc.
3. Aba – Owerri Road, Aba
4. Aba – Ikot Ekpene Road and Highway
5. Opobo Road, Aba leading to Abala
6. Umuahia – Ikot Ekpene Road and Highway
7. Arochukwu – Ohafia federal road
8. Umuahia – Bende federal highway
9. Umuahia – Ohafia federal road
10. Ohanku Road, Aba
Under the watch of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the State Government has executed palliative works along all above the listed federal roads, through the state ministry of works. That is in addition to the more than 76 state roads reconstructed by the administration.
Indeed, the state government has completely taken over the reconstruction of the following roads without asking for compensation:
1. Aba – Owerri Road, Aba
2. Port Harcourt Road, Aba
Meanwhile, the federal government tied the following roads to non performing contracts thereby making it impossible for the key roads to be fixed by ABSG:
1. Umuahia – Port Harcourt portion of the Enugu – Onitsha Express Road including Osisioma Junction, Ariaria Junction etc.
Contractors: Arab Contractors and a Chinese firm
2. Umuahia – Ikot Ekpene Road and Highway
3. Arochukwu – Ohafia federal road
4. Umuahia – Bende federal highway
Contractor: Not available
5. Umuahia – Ohafia federal road
6. Ohanku Road, Aba
Contractor: NDDC Contractor
For those who ask why state governments run to fix federal roads, the fact is that in most states the key roads leading to important cities like Aba, Onitsha, Enugu and Umuahia are all federal roads. Once those roads are in bad condition, visitors form their opinions about those cities, with regard to roads, from those entry points. That leaves State Governors no option but to rush and try to fix those roads knowing that the federal government might never come to help them whereas citizens would turn around and blame them.
If the federal government wants to do the right thing, they should simply review the allocation sharing formula, allow states to fix inter-state roads while the federal government only deal with Abuja roads. Alternatively, they should allow the states fix the roads, send federal ministry of works to evaluate and then compensate the states based on quantity and quality of work done.