The Bayelsa State Government has commended the President, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (retd), for the Federal Government’s decision to refund money expended by some state governments on repair of federal roads in their domains.
Governor Douye Diri made the commendation at the weekend when he received members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Local and Foreign Debts at the Government House, Yenagoa.
In June, Bayelsa was refunded the sum of N34.4bn by the Federal Government alongside four other states that also got various amounts of money as reimbursements for fixing federal roads.
Diri, who was represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, noted that the gesture would enable state governments to redouble their collaborative efforts in addressing the infrastructural deficits in the country.
A statement by Ewhrudjakpo’s media aide, Mr Doubra Atasi, quoted the governor as saying that most state governments were discouraged from deploying their scarce resources to fix dilapidated federal projects located in their areas due to Federal Government’s reluctance to make repayments.
He expressed optimism that the inspection visit by the joint team to some federal projects in the state, including the Ekoli Bridge and the Yenagoa-Oporoma Bayelsa Central Senatorial Road, would facilitate the release of more funds owed Bayelsa.
He urged the executive and the judicial arms of government to accord the legislature its pride of place in the scheme of democratic governance.
The governor said democracy would not survive without the legislative arm performing its core functions of law-making, oversight and representation in the society.
He said, “The National Assembly is a very important institution which has not been given due attention and respect in this country because they see us as new entrants into the Nigerian hemisphere of governance.
“But they should not forget that if there is no law-making, no oversight and no representation, then there will be no democracy. It is on these three pillars that democracy actually stands.”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Clifford Odia and his House of Representatives counterpart, Safana Dayyabu, said the visit was to confirm the execution of federal projects with a view to facilitating the release of funds due the state on account of such projects.