From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has blamed the delay in completion of the N120 billion Bonny-Bodo road on the failure of the Federal Government to pay its N60 billion counterpart funding for the project.
He said every fund expended so far on the Bonny-Bodo road project had been provided by the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG).
Wike stated this at the send off ceremony of former NLNG managing director, Tony Attah, in Port Harcourt Saturday night accusing the Federal Government of not being committed to the development of all sections of the country.
He said if the Federal Government was committed to the even development of all parts of the country, it ought to have provided the N60 billion counterpart funding for the speedy completion of the Bonny-Bodo road.
The governor, who was accompanied by the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, maintained that since the N60 billion counterpart fund for the 38 kilometre Bonny-Bodo road would be paid from the federation account, it would be wrong for the Federal Government to continue to claim glory for the funding of the project with the NLNG.
“The Bonny-Bodo road is not funded between the Federal Government and NLNG. I don’t agree. With due respect, it is funded between NLNG, all the states of the federation and the Federal Government. If this country belongs to and all of us, and we mean well for ourselves, that is one project that ought to have been completed by now, because of the economic interest that will benefit all of us.”
He eulogised Mr. Attah for the convivial relationship the NLNG under his watch maintained with the government and people of Rivers State.
The governor said Attah would be remembered for overseeing the commencement and completion of NLNG corporate headquarters building in Port Harcourt and for ensuring that all fabrication works for the company’s $10 billion Train 7 were done in Rivers State.
According to him, 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax from the NLNG Train 7 project would be used to transform the state.
He said by ensuring the speedy completion of the NLNG headquarters in Port Harcourt, Attah had proved that the claim of insecurity in the Niger Delta by International Oil Companies (IOCs) was indefensible.
“IOCs will say there is insecurity in Port Harcourt, in Warri, in Bayelsa, but there is no insecurity in taking the oil and gas.”
The governor enjoined the new NLNG Managing Director, Dr. Philip Mshelbila, to emulate his predecessor and sustain the existing cordial relationship with the state government.