From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Executive Council has considered and approved the release of N78B for the completion of various ongoing projects across sectors and flag-off of new ones.
The approval was given at its meeting that was presided over by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike at Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic planning, Dr Isaac Kamalu said the approval was made to ensure that ongoing projects are not left uncompleted by the contractors for lack of fund.
“The Rivers State Government has released the sum of N78 billion for payment of ongoing projects and flag off of new projects across all the local government areas in the state.
“Again, the government has specifically released the sum of N1.8bn, representing 80 percent of the capital provisions for the judiciary in the 2022 budget for the services of the Rivers State Judiciary.”
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike said the Ministry of health is not left out among ministries to benefit from the release of the funds.
According to him, the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Diagnostics and Treatment Centre which has been completed, has the contractor fully paid.
“You remember in June last year, (2021) N26 billion was earmarked for that contract. It’s been completed, well furnished with the most modern medical equipment for the attack of different types of cancers.
“And the other thing that the health sector benefitted is the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital where we have Basic Clinical Faculty and the Clinical Faculty as well as the Renal and Dialysis Centre and the House Officers Quarters which have also been completed and will be commissioned.”
Prof. Chike also said there are other ongoing projects been funded by the State government and they includethe Kelsey Harrison Hospital which is at an advance stage as well as the Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital in Port Harcourt, all of which are also at advance stages of completion.
Commissioner for Special Projects, Deinma Iyalla said the ministry has its memo presented to the Council approved and also ratified the sale of the remodelled Riv-Bank insurance building.
“Currently, the building is known as Senator John Azuta-Mbata House. Access Bank offered to buy the building for the sun of N3.8B. It cost us N2.8B to remodel it.
“The essence of the sale of this building, Access Bank promised that they are going to use it as their regional office, which means they will create employment and impact positively on economic activities within Port Harcourt.”
Iyalla also listed other projects to benefit from the released fund to include, the sand-filling and reclamation of 20hectres of land in Ogu town.