The Senate on Wednesday stepped down the request of Kebbi State Government for the refund of N6.7bn spent on federal roads in the state.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, in September, asked the Senate to approve the requests of Kebbi, Yobe and Taraba state governments for refunds for federal road projects they executed.
After considering the report of its Committee on Foreign and Local Debts yesterday, the Senate approved the request to pay Yobe and Taraba N18.623bn and N2.706bn respectively.
The committee’s chairman, Senator Clifford Ordia, said Kebbi State officials failed to appear before his panel to defend the refund request.
Ordia had said two senators from Kebbi state were opposed to refund to the state government.
The Senate gave the Kebbi State Government two weeks to defend its claims before the committee with relevant documents.
Addressing reporters later, Senators Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central) and Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North) denied opposing the state’s request for the refund.
“Certainly if this money is refunded, it’ll enhance the financial standing of the State. We’ll do whatever is humanly possible to ensure we get the money, but due process must be followed, that’s all my concern,” Aliero said.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the Senate could not approve the request without recourse to the defence process.
Lawan urged the state government officials to meet the three senators from the state for guidance “so that Kebbi doesn’t lose this money.”