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Senate approves N14.6bn as refund to Bauchi

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA- THE Senate, yesterday, approved promissory notes and bond issuances worth N14.623,031,107.51 billion to Bauchi State as reimbursement for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

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The approval followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Adhoc Committee on Promissory Note Programme and a Bond Issuance to Settle Inherited Local Debts and Contractual Obligations on Refund to State governments presented by the Chairman, Senator Francis Alimikhena, APC, Edo North.

Presenting his report, Senator Alimikhena noted that although the Senate had initially excluded Bauchi and Kogi States, the committee, however approved refund for Bauchi, leaving out Kogi.

He, however, did not give any reason for excluding Kogi State, but said that after exhaustive deliberations and thorough review of the submissions of Bauchi State, the Committee discovered that most of the Federal highways were at the state of disrepair before the state’s intervention.

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According to him, “Inspections were carried out by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on all roads completed by the State and ascertained the quality of work done and Stage Government have completely paid the contractors that executed the highway projects in the States.”

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The approval of payment to Bauchi State, brings to 24, the number of states with outstanding claims for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government and approved by the Senate.

Speaking after the approval, Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, APC, Yobe Norgh, however wondered why Kogi State was excluded when President Muhammadu Buhari sought the approval for the issuance of the notes to offset inherited local debts for both Kogi and Bauchi States.

He therefore appealed that the President’s request of refund for Kogi State be considered and approved by next week.

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