Lagos seeks refund of N52bn spent on federal roads.

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Just as Babatunde Fashola, the new power, works and housing minister is resuming office, part of the issues for his attention is the request by Lagos state, appealing for the refund of N52 billion spent on repairs of federal roads.

Lagos state like others had had to repair the dilapidated federal roads while seeking reimbursement later. Fashola was incidentally the governor of the state when the roads were repaired.

Likewise the south east governors that is drawing attention to dilapidated Infrastructure in the region to at least stem the raging yearn for a Biafran state, the issue of roads dominated plenary at the Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday with calls from the lawmakers for urgent rehabilitation of dilapidated federal roads impeding commercial activities and causing hardship to residents.

Deputy Majority Leader, Olumuyiwa Jimoh, drew attention to the state of the roads which he described as matter of urgent public importance.

Jimoh, who was optimistic that Babatunde Fashola would replicate his feat at Lagos at the federal level however noted that,”It should be at the heart of his assignments, and perhaps the uppermost; the refund of over N52 billion the federal government owes the state for repairing federal roads.

“The minister should hasten the payment of the fund which we have expended on federal roads.

“There are some federal roads in this state, the commercial hub of this country and sub-Sahara Africa, begging for attention,” he said.

While Abiodun Tobun (APC-Epe I) also congratulated Fashola for a well-deserved appointment he said: ” Lagos State belongs to all Nigerians because all families have one or two relations in the state.

“Most business outlets have their headquarters in Lagos. The Federal Government earns the large part of its Value Added Tax from this state.

“Fashola should ensure that all the federal roads are developed and the monies owed the state for repairing federal roads should be refunded.”

Lanre Ogunyemi (APC-Ojo II), on his part, said: “Greater chunk of our resources in this state has gone to repairing federal roads.

“If we can get the huge amount of money owed us, it will go a long way to ameliorate the hardship Lagos residents pass through on many state roads.”

David Setonji (APC-Badagry II) complained bitterly of the state of Lagos-Badagry Expressway and urged Fashola to give priority to federal roads in the state.

“We want the Federal Government, through the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, to give attention to federal roads in the state, to make economic activities thrive more.

“The state of many expressways in the state is a disgrace for a former capital of the country.

“Let the world know that Lagos deserves special allocation, just as Abuja, to arrest issues of perennial infrastructure decay,” Setonji said.

Sola Giwa (APC-Lagos Island) said that the former governor was up to the task given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Giwa, who also urged Fashola to facilitate the refund of monies spent of federal roads in the state, noted that the state of Apapa roads had been affecting smooth commercial activities.

The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, said it was important to remind Fashola of the challenges facing the state.

“We must write a letter to the minister to call his attention to the urgent need to repair federal roads in the state.

“It is better to make this appeal to him before the work load of handling three major areas of government becomes much.

“Fashola was an actualiser when he was the governor; he knows about the problems of Lagos State.

“Being a governor of the state for eight years, he is aware of the level of deprivation of local government fund and most of the federal roads done.

“Lagos-Sagamu, Lagos-Abeokuta, Ikorodu and so many federal roads are begging for attention. If we have good roads, most of the complaints will be gone,” he said.

The speaker, who expressed confidence in the ability of Fashola, said he was sure that the former governor would not disappoint people of the state.

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