From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared his administration takes great care in executing its several development projects to completion stage without being indebted to any financial institution.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony for the construction of Trans-Kalabari Road Phase 1 in Degema Local Government Area yesterday, Governor Wike reminded the people that even the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has attested to that position.
Governor Wike said he has not borrowed to fund any project and will definitely not do so to complete the Trans-Kalabari Road that is connecting Krakrama, Omekwe-ama, Angula-ama, Mina-ama and other communities in the Kalabari area.
He said: “People are asking where am I getting the money from. People are saying I’m borrowing money. If I borrow money to develop my place (state), is there any offence there? They that borrow, did they do the road? If I’m borrowing and doing the work, have I not done well?
“But in any case, I am not borrowing money. It is a matter of how you manage the resources of the people.
“So, I’m not owing any bank. I challenge any bank to say Rivers State government is indebted to them. The only money we took for agriculture, which Central Bank gave us, N5 billion. As I speak to you, we have not touched one naira. The money is still there.”
Governor Wike recalled how in 2009, the previous administration in the state implemented a payment module that clearly showed its lack of interest in either constructing or completing the Trans-Kalabari Road that it awarded then.
According to Governor Wike, no longer will anybody come to hoodwink Kalabari people with the promise of constructing Trans-Kalabari Road in the name of politics, because the phase one of the project would be completed in 2022.
Wike said: “We have not only awarded the contract, we have awarded it in such a way that they (contractor) have nothing to do with us about funding.
“We have signed an irrevocable standing order, where every month, the contractor collects from the bank N1 billion. So, as this month is ending, that will be the third billion they’ve collected.
“I’ve told you here that we’ve instructed the banks, take N1 billion off from our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) account every month and give to the contractor to do the project. So, we are not borrowing money from any bank.”
The governor expressed regrets that the previous administration that received, at different times, N100 billion and N46 billion, was not committed to executing the project.
According to Governor Wike, what matters to his administration is what could be done with the privilege that the people have given to them.
Chairman of Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority,
Ferdinand Anabraba, who performed the flag-off, said after a meeting with Governor Wike, leaders of Kalabari nationality met at home and said: “We are here with our heads raised high, gathered here for a moments event. This laudable project was conceived 15 years ago, and it remained strong desire and aspiration. Luckily, you came in and our dreams have come through.
“Although, this is just a flag-off, but with your style of project execution, we can go home believing it is as good as completed.”