Benin City, July 26, 2023 – The Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media Projects, Crusoe Osagie, has called on residents to direct their concerns about the deplorable state of federal roads and the recent fuel price hike to the Federal Government. He made this statement in response to a group of protesters comprising civil society organizations and activists, who gathered at the Government House in Benin City to voice their grievances about the soaring cost of petroleum products.
Osagie explained that Governor Godwin Obaseki lacks the authority to influence fuel prices or address the condition of federal roads in the state, as any funds expended on federal roads would not be reimbursed to the state for its own road projects. He emphasized the need for the protesters to focus their efforts on demanding accountability from the Federal Government.
“We have challenges with the Edo roads, that is why it will be difficult for us to take Edo people’s money to fix federal roads,” said Osagie. “Federal Government collects 54 per cent of FAAC, and local governments and states share the rest 46 per cent. Federal Government is just one entity while states are 36.”
Osagie further reiterated that Governor Obaseki has consistently called on the Federal Government to address the dilapidated state of federal roads in the state, including the Benin-Abraka Road, Benin-Auchi Road, Benin-Sapele Road, and the Benin-Lagos Road at the Ovia River bridge. Despite these appeals, the Federal Government has not responded adequately.
Regarding the increase in fuel prices, Osagie clarified that the governor does not possess the authority to unilaterally change the fuel price as demanded by the protesters. However, he assured the demonstrators that their grievances would be conveyed through official channels to the appropriate authorities.
Regarding rumors of an increased federal allocation to the state, Osagie dispelled such claims, stating that no such increment has occurred. He urged the protesters to refrain from spreading unfounded allegations and misinformation and instead rely on verifiable facts when making statements.
The protest highlights the growing frustration among Edo State residents over the condition of federal roads and the impact of fuel price hikes on their cost of living. As the dialogue between the state government and the Federal Government continues, residents hope for a resolution that will improve infrastructure and alleviate economic hardships in the state.