Being a text of a New Year broadcast by Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on Sunday, January 1, 2012.
My dear people of Rivers State, may I sincerely welcome you all into the New Year. I also wish to express my gratitude to God Almighty, who preserved our lives and ushered us into the new year.
With all sense of duty, the government wishes to express its profound appreciation to you all, for your continued support and unwavering commitment to the State government. The modest achievements we have made as drivers of government policies and programmes in the previous years particularly 2011, would have been impossible without your immense support and
Our dear people of Rivers State, we wish to inform you that in 2011, the Rivers State Government made a huge impact in the critical sectors of Education, Health, Works, Power and Security of lives and properties amongst others.
Out of the 750 primary schools proposed for construction, 500 are ongoing and at least 225 of them have been completed. Some are already functioning.
To ensure high standards in our schools, we have done the recertification of teachers’ qualification and the schools’ curriculum has been domesticated. The British Council is partnering with us to train all teachers in the State; 5,000 teachers have so far been trained.
Our efforts in the education sector yielded so much fruits evidenced by several awards won by the state, including the N400m worth award as the best Universal Basic Education (UBE) State.
On the completion of our primary schools across the State, government’s plan to equip and commission 200 units of schools in 200 communities and in 200 days in the first part of this year is on course.
As I had said in the 2012 Budget proposal, government will ensure timely completion of all on-going projects, since we do not
intend to leave any project uncompleted within the tenure of the present administration.
From the position of government, 2012 holds a lot of good things for our people. This is because the people voted for us to always do the best and take the right decisions on their behalf. I wish to assure you once more of the commitment of Rivers State Government to this mandate of trust. In the previous year, the State Government took some bold steps to reposition our fortunes in agriculture. Agriculture is internationally believed to hold great potentials and opportunities for any people. And this we shall adequately and intensively harness in 2012.
To drive our state economy in the direction of active productivity, power holds the key. This explains government’s massive investment in the sector since 2007. We have achieved about 500 megawatts of electricity in the state already. When this volume of power is distributed as planned, the state would witness renewed industrial activities which would in turn stimulate the entire economic system in Rivers State. We reiterate our commitment to ensuring regular power supply by the end of year 2012.
Closely associated with power in the daily life of the citizens, is the critical place of security of lives and property. It is this administration’s belief that socio-economic activities cannot thrive without adequate protection of lives and property. This realisation has made government to support security agencies in the state to perform maximally.
We assure you that we shall stop at nothing in our pursuit to make Rivers State very productive and totally unconducive for all criminal elements. .
The present administration truly means well for Rivers citizens, hence, the resolve to transform the state of our roads in not only the state capital but indeed the entire State.
As you can see, the State, particularly Port Harcourt City is wearing a new look with the emergence of a lot of road networks. Government has embarked on the construction of 230 world class road networks and infrastructure. We are adopting the accelerated project completion approach to ensure that in the first quarter of this year, 40 percent of the projects would have been
Again, I wish to sincerely assure the good people of our dear State that Government is committed to improved transportation
The 2.6 Km Monorail project will be completed and another 5.2 Km stretch from UTC to Waterlines will commence this year. Against all insinuations, we are committed to completing the
monorail project which government conceived as one clear means to realise mass transportation of people without increased pressure on our roads.
On Health, government is committed to completing and equipping all health related projects in the State. The Professor Kelsey Harrison Hospital which in the recent past was called Niger Hospital has been fully equipped and ready to be put in use early this year. Government has concluded plans to establish a 250 bed mother and child hospital amongst others
To support government investment in education and health, we passionately appeal to the good people of the State and corporate individuals to see the Social Contributory Levy Act as a worthwhile social welfare policy of government; if we must sustain quality service delivery in our Primary schools and Health centres.
Government will implement decisions on the harmonisation of taxes in the state. This will check incidents of double taxation. While doing this, we appeal to all persons and organisations doing legitimate business in the state to co-operate with our tax agents and pay their taxes duly and promptly.
Our achievements in sports is quite enormous and worth acknowledging. Our own Dolphins won the 2010 and 2011 Nigerian Premier League Cup. Rivers Angels won 2011 FA Cup
and Sharks are the defending champions for the WAFU championships.
Our ultra modern sports facility acclaimed as one of the best in the sub region – the Garden City Community Sports Centre will be fully operational by June, this year. Some facilities there are already being used. All the sports facilities in the Old Port Harcourt Township are also being reconstructed.
We believe that our achievements in sports in 2011 especially in the 17th National Sports Festival hosted by Rivers State would be improved upon and also sustained this year.
On environmental cleanliness, the state government spends so much monthly to keep Port Harcourt clean. We urge residents and companies to keep their environment clean and actively partner with the State government to maintain a clean environment.
The provision of water stands out as a key area in what is expected of any responsible and responsive government. We understand this and shall ensure that in Rivers State, particularly in Port Harcourt, the provision of potable water is prioritised.
We have commenced the process for the formulation of a formidable Land Policy in the State. So far, a total of 113 certificates of Occupancy have been signed and by December, 2012 all analogue Cs of 0 would be digitalised.
The civil service remains the engine room of any government. The present administration understands this, hence, our commitment to the welfare and training of civil servants. Government has offered scholarships for the training of civil servants abroad and given 100 cars to’ directors in the service including an unprecedented hosting of an end of year party for them amongst others.
It is on record that since the inception of this administration, government has done everything possible to pay salaries, gratuities and pensions to serving and retired civil servants promptly. By God’s grace, this scenario will be sustained by the State government.
This year, we shall focus very vigorously on all sectors of our economy that can provide massive employment, particularly for our teeming youth population.
Government has designed some programmes aimed at engaging our youths and offering them opportunities to better their lives. We will therefore train and equip some youths in computer and give them starter packs to make them self reliant. We shall organise holiday camps for them and engage them in conflict resolution amongst others.
We therefore, appeal to our teeming youth population to please channel their energy to well meaning ventures, particularly within the advantages provided through government plans, policies and programmes; to avoid being caught and consequently punished for any criminality.
Government appreciates the invaluable support of the legislature, judiciary, traditional rulers, opinion leaders, religious leaders, labour leaders, professional bodies, security agencies, Non- Governmental organisations, youth Groups and Civil Servants during the previous year.
We shall count on your continued commitment towards driving our “Budget of Resource Utilisation” to better the lives of our people in 2012 and appeal to you all, to continue in your support and
prayers to enable the achievement of God’s purpose in our dear State.
, Thank you for your attention and may God bless us and our dear State.
Wishing you a very Happy and prosperous New Year.
Thank you so much and may God bless you all.