For focusing more on infrastructural development in line with the dream of the Buhari All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, has promised to ensure that Akwa Ibom State gets a refund for undertaking a federal road project in the state.
Lawan who is the number one man of the Legislative arm of the Nigerian central government said the Buhari administration has committed huge resources towards the development of infrastructure in the country.
The Senate President was speaking while inaugurating a 25Km Uyo-Ikot Ekpene dual carriageway in the oil-producing state. The road cuts across seven local government areas of the state linking Akwa Ibom with Abia State and was initiated by the Akpabio administration but could not be completed by the time the now Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio left office in 2015.
While assuring Governor Udom Emmanuel of the refund, Lawan said, “you more than deserve a refund. I will join you in talking to the Minister of Works and Housing to facilitate a refund. Let me use this opportunity to encourage other state governors to imitate Akwa Ibom.’’
Adding, the number one federal legislator said, ‘’let me also commend other states who have done the same. I will join the advocacy for extension of this road to Aba’’, and commended Governor Udom for his unwavering belief in the unity, peace, development and progress of Nigeria, and for remaining a model in his approach to governance.
Before commissioning the road in Ikot Ekpene, Lawan pledged to partner the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure a refund of the amount expended by the state government on construction of the road.
And, on the request by Governor Udom that the road should be extended to Aba in Abia State, the Senate President promised to investigate why the project was abandoned and to partner the state in advocating for such extension.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel is justice, unity peace progress development. You are right in all the actions you take. When this road was left at 20per percent completion, you took it over, which explains how much you love your people. you are a pan-Nigerian, reasonable and purposeful.
‘’You have been very progressive. You are showing us how to develop our country. Though a federal road, you decided to complete it for your people. You have demonstrated to Nigerians that the business of development must be on all tiers of government. What the Federal government needs is partnership, cooperation and development together.’’
While regretting the challenges confronting Nigeria, Lawan called on all tiers of government to join hands to deal with such challenges, pointing out, “we need honesty and sincerity of leadership. it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, your political or religious affiliations, we must unite to build Nigeria.”
Earlier, Governor Udom declared that the road was constructed with state’s resources that would have been channelled to the development of other sectors of the state’s economy, and therefore appealed to the Federal government to ensure prompt refund to the state, and made a case for extension of the road to Aba in Abia State to ensure ease of doing business for both states.