Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said on Tuesday that the Federal government and the States need to partner and cooperate for the development of the country.
“What the Federal government needs in the sub-nationals is a partnership, cooperation and development together,” Lawan said shortly before he formally commissioned the 25Km Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road in Akwa Ibom State.
The road is a Federal government project but the state government took it upon itself to complete the project with the expectation that the money expended by the state will be refunded by the Federal government.
The Senate President commended the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel for taking the initiative to complete the project.
“You are right in all the actions you have taken Your Excellency. I must commend you for continuing with this project.
“When it was left at 20 percent completion, you took over this road because of the love of your people particularly the people of Ikot Ekpene.
“I must commend you for that. I must commend you for being very progressive. And I mean progressive. What you have done here is to show the way how we can develop our country and our States and our communities.
“The business of infrastructure development, if it will ever serve the population and citizens of Nigeria, must be the business of all tiers and levels of government.
“Your Excellency, though this is a federal road because you want the people of Ikot Ekpene particularly and Akwa Ibom in general to have a good road, you have put in the resources of this state to complete this road.
“This is very significant and of course I have heard you and heard you very well and clearly when you said you want the Federal government to refund you or reimburse you for constructing this Federal road. You are right, Your Excellency.
“What you have done is to hold the hands of the Federal government and to say I am ready for development not only in my state but the entire country.
“So for me, I think you more than deserve a refund. I will join you in talking to the Minister of Works and Housing to present your request for a refund for this road because I believe that will encourage you to do more even though, without that, I know you, you will still do more.
“But it will also encourage other state governors to do the same with that hope that they will be refunded.
“But I must also commend the Federal government for providing refunds to states that have done something like this.
“The present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari believes in infrastructure development of Nigeria and more than any previous administration I dare say, this administration has put in more resources for infrastructure development
“And I want to assure you that you have a worthy partner in the Federal government,” Lawan said.
The President reiterated his earlier call for a united front against the challenges facing the country believing that they are surmountable.
“Today our country is going through a trying period. We are going through some challenges. The purpose of any leadership at any level is to provide leadership in dealing with the challenges.
“And the kind of challenges we face in this country today are the kind of challenges that require all hands to be on deck.
“We need not only the Federal government to deal with the security challenges, but we also need the sub-nationals- the states and even the local government. When we hold our hands together, we can surmount any challenge in this country.
“What is required of us is honesty and sincerity in our leadership. I believe that the time has come for the Nigerian leaders to come together regardless of their political persuasions, regardless of their religious beliefs, to salvage the various issues that confront our country,” Lawan said.
Senators in the company of the Senate President from Abuja included: Senator Suleiman Sadiq Umar(Kwara North), Senator Akon Eyakenyi(Akwa Ibom South).