By Olugbenga Salami
Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a refund of N16, 772,486,002.19 to the Borno State Government for federal road projects executed in the state.
Former President Muhammadu Buhari had written to the National Assembly to approve the amount through promissory note and bond issuance.
The approval of the refund by the Senate followed its consideration of the report of its Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, chaired by Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP Edo Central).
On the other hand, the House approved the refund after it considered a report by its Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management under the chairmanship of Hon. Ahmed Safana Dayyabu.
Both Ordia and Dayyabu in their separate reports said their committees discovered that all the projects listed by the State Government were actually executed.
Senator Ordia observed that most of the federal roads mentioned were in a deplorable state before the intervention of the Borno State Government.
He added that the Federal Bureau of Public Procurement has ascertained and certified that due process was followed accordingly.
On his part, Dayyabu told the House that the Borno State Government began construction of the federal roads in 2014
He added that out of the roads, only the Damboa-Chibok-Mbalala (30Km) Road Phase I was eligible for reimbursement as it was awarded before the President’s directive of 29th July 2016 which suspended assessment of requests for refund on projects carried out without the Federal Government’s approval.
The lawmaker said the other three projects (Damboa-Chibok-Mbalala Road Phase II, Flyover Bridge at Custom Roundabout, Maiduguri, and Dualisation of the Maiduguri-Dikwa-Gamboru/Ngala Road from Custom Area to Muwa Welcome Gate) awarded by the Borno State Government after the President’s directive, were approved upon a compassionate appeal by the Borno State Government.