Emerging reports show that there may be a battle brewing between the Federal Government and the States Governments over the delay in refunding the money spent by the latter on federal roads.
Punch reports that the Federal Government owes Sokoto State the sum of N16.8 billion; Cross River State, N25 billion; Ekiti State, N11 billion; Anambra State, N15 billion; and Gombe State, N6.34 billion.
Following the directive by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, (SAN), who stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the state governments to stop rehabilitating federal roads, the states affected and owed money have criticized the move while demanding that the funds be reimbursed.
Speaking on the N25 billion the Federal Government owes Cross River state, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ben Ayade, Christian Ita, said that repairs had been done on federal roads like the Calabar-Itu Road and the Calabar-Ikom Highway by the state government but there was a delay in the refund.
According to a Sokoto State Government official, who pleaded anonymity, the Federal Government owed the state N16.8 billion for the repair of federal roads by the state government. He said the projects included the 85km Sokoto-Illela Road and the expansion of the 18.5km Western and Eastern Bye-pass roads.
The Akwa Ibom state government on the other hand, when contacted, made it clear that the Federal Government had not refunded the N78 billion it owed from the road repairs by the state government.
Other states being owed funds for road repairs include Ekiti, Ondo, Anambra, Gombe, Benue and Enugu.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has responded to the delay in the refund, saying it was due to the verification being done by the federal agencies. According to the Special Adviser to the Minister of Works and Housing, Hakeem Bello, a committee had already been established to handle the matter.
“The Inter-Ministerial Presidential Committee was set up by Mr President. The committee did its work and then sent a report to the Bureau of Public Procurement. The BPP will then recommend what is supposed to be paid based on the documents and verification done. The BPP sends it back to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
“The FMWH then sends it to the Federal Executive Council and after FEC approval, it goes to the National Assembly and from there it is the Federal Ministry of Finance that will then pay,” he said.
FG inuagurates 2nd National Voluntary Review Report on SDGs
The report enables member countries to exchange experiences and knowledge on Sustainable Development.
Federal Government has inaugurated the second National Voluntary Review Report on Sustainable Development Goals. This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire on Tuesday.
The report was launched after a virtual presentation session of the High-Level Political Forum of the United Nations (UN).
Meanwhile, the UN had offered to assist the Nigerian Government to realize its developmental aspirations most especially those related to the SDGs.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria Edward Kallon, had explained that he visited Nigeria to explore better ways of collaboration between the two agencies in line with the recent reforms going on in the UN, which are being driven by Amina Mohammed, the Deputy UN Secretary-General.
According to him, UN is looking for innovative ways to come up with a robust collaboration framework that will foster a more solid and workable partnership by way of creating a platform for Nigeria to leverage on and support its developmental aspirations most especially, the implementation of the SDGs.
Why it matters: The report enables member countries to exchange experiences and knowledge on Sustainable Development. It would feature Nigeria’s most important priorities as it is nearly impossible to achieve all SDG’s because of the limited economic challenges.
According to Orelope-Adefulire, the goals prioritized by the governments were no poverty, health and wellbeing, education, economic growth, security & peace and partnerships.
She said, “Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.
“Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment. Job opportunities and decent working conditions are also required for the whole working-age population.”
She added that the agency would prioritise seven goals and reached out to the private sector, women organisations, CSOs, youth groups, academia and people living with disabilities; finding out from them what needs to be done.
Just-in: FG kickstarts its 774,000 jobs SPW initiative as Buhari backs Keyamo
The initiative plans to employ 1,000 persons from each of the 774 LGA in the country.
Despite the opposition from members of the National Assembly, the Federal Government have formally kick-started the Special Public Works (SPW) programme, which was designed to create 774,000 jobs across the nation, with the inauguration of the State Selection Committees.
This was disclosed in a tweet post by the Federal Government on its official Twitter handle on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
In the tweet post, the Federal Government said, ‘’The Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government has kicked off nationwide. The State Selection Committees have been inaugurated and have commenced work. Find the names and contact details of members of your State’s Committee here.’’
The National Assembly had earlier called for the suspension of the programme, following disagreement and altercations with the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, over the operations and processes of the programme.
The Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government has kicked off nationwide. The State Selection Committees have been inaugurated and have commenced work. Find the names and contact details of members of your State’s Committee here: https://t.co/d7YjB49JeE #NigeriaSPW
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) July 14, 2020
This programme, which is coordinated by the ministry of labour and employment, was part of the federal government’s intervention programmes and fiscal stimulus measures to help cushion the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Nigerians.
The initiative which is expected to start on October 1, 2020, plans to employ 1,000 persons from each of the 774 local government areas in the country. Each of the beneficiaries of the programme will be paid N20,000 monthly to carry out public works.
The implementation agency for the programme is the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, while performing the virtual inauguration in a joint address with the Director-General of NDE, Nasir Ladan Argungu, disclosed that an inter-ministerial committee drawn from 8 ministries and headed by the NDE recommended the setting up of states’ selection committees to identify and recruit those to be engaged under the programme
It can be recalled that Keyamo, has been at loggerheads with the federal lawmakers over the implementation of the SPW programme. The lawmakers had insisted that the Minister must seek their inputs before going ahead with the constitution of the 20 man states selection committees. They also accused Keyamo of trying to hijack the programme from the NDE, who should be the implementation agency.
But the Minister, while appearing before a joint committee in the National Assembly accused the lawmakers of trying to hijack the process. He insisted that President Buhari gave him the mandate to directly supervise the programme and as such he is the only one that can ask him to stop.
Seyi Makinde Proposes N3 billion investment plan for water supply
The local governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the LG.
The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde announced the proposal of a N3 billion investment plan dedicated to water supply in rural and urban areas of the state.
Speaking through the Chairman of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Mr. Najeem Omirinde in Ibadan on Monday, he added that N500 million of the N3 billion would be used for repairing broken and faulty state-owned boreholes.
All Chairmen of each of the Local Governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the Local governments.
The Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde also ordered that all new boreholes must be compliant with solar-powered pumps, to enable their longevity and save costs.
Urging residents to patronize the agency if they need to dig up boreholes for water, citing that it would be cheaper if done through the state agency than with private drilling companies.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed stated last year that Nigeria needs an estimated N36 trillion annually for the next 30 years to solve Nigeria’s infrastructure problem. The investment, although a tiny fraction of what Nigeria needs is a bold step by the Oyo State government.