Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said that the Federal Government would soon refund at least N20 billion to each of the 36 states of the federation for infrastructure development. Dogara disclosed this when he visited the Igwe of Ogwuekpele, His Royal Highness Igwe Valentine Onyema Ogidiga in his palace at Ogwuekpele in Anambra State.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, Iliya Habila, quotes Dogara as saying that when the debts were refunded, they would assist the states in providing critical infrastructure in their respective domains. The statement read: “Regarding debts owed to states, I can announce that very soon, a chunk of money will be given to all the states. “It is being processed and I know that no state will get less than N20 billion from the money that is coming.
“That will be something substantial in the hands of the governors. Those that are spirited, I believe they will be able to translate that money into development so that they can support the diversification of the Federal Government.”
Responding to the Igwe’s concern on decaying infrastructure in the state, the Speaker said the Federal Government was planning to invest on infrastructure and provision of capital. “Without capital you cannot invest; so these are the two things that this government is devoted in carrying out. “By doing so Nigerians can have enough capital, they will have the needed infrastructure for the establishment of functional industries for the evacuation of either solid minerals or agricultural products. And we know that agriculture has the potential of providing employment for the majority of our people. “I can assure you that when we talk about diversification, it is not just on paper.
Recently, there were efforts by the government to source money so that they can begin in earnest the putting up of infrastructure: functional road networks, inter-modal and multi-modal connectivity of our transportation and talk about building airports, railways and integrating them with land transportation. “These are the things that are on the agenda and then giving citizens access to cheap capital that they can use to better their lives and start businesses and provide employment that will earn us foreign exchange.’’
By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru