A day after Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, accused the Federal Ministry of Works of frustrating some of his plans on road repairs in the state, Works, Power and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, who is Ambode’s predecessor in Lagos, has denied the allegations.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Hakeem Bello, Fashola denied frutrating efforts by Lagos State to repair some roads, specifically Oshodi/Lagos Airport Road.
The minister said his “response is to ensure that members of the public are not misled by deliberate or inadvertent mis-statements” of the Lagos governor.
Fashola explained that the request of the Lagos government to take over the road, as well as three other federal roads in the state, was still being discussed at the Federal Executive Council.
On the presidential lodge, Fashola’s aide said it was currently being run by the Presidency and that his ministry was working with relevant security officials for the handover.
“The presidential lodge is a high security location and officials of the ministry also require security clearance to enter in order to do any works,” he said.
Bello, who listed some other areas the works ministry has cooperated with the Lagos government, then questioned his successor’s motive for the allegations. “The motive behind these public accusations must therefore be scrutinised coming barely a week after the governor spoke with Fashola on outstanding requests of the state for several minutes.
“As far as the refund of N51 billion is concerned, this is not a new item. Almost all, if not all states have these claims and the ministry has verified these claims.
“What is left is the process of raising the finance to pay the debt owed to the states. Those who are familiar with the workings of government will attest to the fact that it is an intricate sequence of processes, consultation and collaboration. Equating processes to a lack of co-operation is therefore akin to creating a storm in a tea cup,” the minister noted.
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