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Wike Challenges FG On Foreign Loans …As Mimiko Inaugurates Rumuola Flyover

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike said that Nigeria has enormous resources, if well managed, can change, not only the fortunes of the country but the life of every Nigerian.
He has, therefore, challenged the Federal Government to show evidence where it has deployed all the money borrowed from external creditors.
Wike made the challenge at the inauguration of the Rumuola Flyover Bridge that was performed by the former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, yesterday, in Port Harcourt.
The governor stated that his administration was propelled by love and commitment to service, which was why it is working assiduously and deploying the state’s resources judiciously, for the good of Rivers people.
“It is very clear that governance is not by magic. It is all about commitment. It’s all about your love for your people and your country.
“This country has enormous resources to change the lives of our people. Nobody should give excuses. Like we would always say, if you don’t have it, you don’t have it.
“So, all these stories that you borrowed money from here, and there, let us see what the money is being used for. If we borrowed money, we are showing Rivers people what we used that money to do.”
Wike said he is preoccupied with the duties of governance and rendering service to the people who elected him.
According to him, his best reply to the opposition is the evidence of the quality projects that his administration has continued to deliver.
It is clear to them, he said, that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) controlled state government has performed creditable well.
Aside the numerous roads completed and ongoing, Wike explained that his administration has within two years period delivered nine flyover bridges, which are handled by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.
“This government has done well. This PDP government has done well.
“Our contractor is Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. We are competing with Federal Government that is using Julius Berger. Ask them how much it is to pay Julius Berger.”
He further continued: “None of these flyovers cost us less than N7billion. Now, the average of N7biilion into nine and the other roads done by Julius Berger Nigeria PLC and the quality they give; I’m happy and proud to associate myself with a company that gives the best as far as construction is concerned. I can move about in this state and country proudly.”
Speaking further, Wike warned criminal elements who steal manhole covers on major roads and on the flyovers bridges to desist from their nefarious activities.
He described those criminals and their sponsors as enemies of the state because they are sabotaging the good works that have been achieved to make motoring pleasurable with the state’s resources.
“Let me warn those who steal the cover of the manholes. You know when you take actions, people bring ethnic colouration. Those of you who are stealing the cover of manholes, if you like come from anywhere, if anybody want to sabotage us, we will tell you how saboteurs are treated.
“We cannot do this road construction and you come to sabotage us by stealing to disappoint us, to make people have accident.”
Wike also spoke about the need for his successor to be one who will not only sustained the current pace of development but outperform him.
He pointed out that such person must rise above selfish pedestal and be ready to defend, and protect the interest of the state against all odds.
Performing the project inauguration, former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, said that Wike has proved himself worthy his sobriquet: “Mr. Projects!”.
According to him, those who feel unsettled by Wike’s words and actions cannot take away the fact that he conceives projects, plan projects, delivers projects because he loves projects.
“Some see governance or being in government as an end in itself, you have deployed your limitless energy, by these accomplishments, to demonstrate that governance is a means to an end; the improvement of the lives of our people.”
Mimiko also spoke about the need to restructure Nigeria because it was an imperative means to a just, more productive and more prosperous nation.
He noted that restructuring is also about policies and actions towards getting Nigerian children off the streets into schools for the right kind of education.
According to him, it is also about improved subnational accountability in tackling youth unemployment and general alienation and many more.
“It is also not about Niger Delta oil and gas alone. After all, with the present state of climate change consciousness and concomitant investment in renewables, fossil fuels may sooner than later become truly fossil and out-dated.
“It is about ensuring that all our God-given minerals, e.g., Gold in Zamfara or Osun is optimally exploited for the people, and not unaccountably, by, and for a few elites and their rampaging foreign collaborators.
“It is about a decentralized security architecture that will ensure nimble, versatile, accountable and optimally responsive formations.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Hon. Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the Rumuola Flyover Bridge project that was awarded on July 2, 2020, to Julius Berger Nigeria PLC was completed by August, 2021.
Tasie-Amadi pointed out that within the period the civil works lasted, there were road closures, traffic diversions, grid locks, deployment of equipment and workers.
He also stated that there were inconveniences caused to commuters, support from many good people, particularly the community, and of course payments to the contractors but all of that are over.
“This flyover measures 532m from ramp-to-ramp with the suspended section being 292m long. Service lanes on either side of the bridge are 8.3m wide and 858.4m long. The entire project is adorned with street lighting and traffic control fixtures.
“The foregoing are all visible including the 24 piers under the bridge (24 columns if you may).”
Tasie-Amadi said, before the project commenced, there was only a single carriage bridge which became grossly inadequate for the volume of traffic.
“To address the situation,” he said, “a second bridge was built, service lanes completely reconstructed and expanded and all elements required to ease commute and pedestrian activities were incorporated into the project. That also included but not limited to refurbishment of the old bridge and adjoining streets.
“Please, permit me to cease this opportunity to urge road users and the relevant agencies to ensure compliance with codes and strict adherence to road and traffic signs erected around the area, most notable amongst these are signs which make it unlawful to stop on the bridge and high speed lanes and which require that all commercial vehicles use only the service lanes. The bridge is essentially off limits to commercial vehicles”, he added.

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Rivers’ll Be Known For Peace, Not Crisis -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has said that peace has prevailed because he draws strength from God to resist insults and tantrums thrown at him while frustrating attempts by some disgruntled persons who wanted to plunge the State into unending crisis.
The Governor also said that because he has anchored his Government on promoting peace, the enabling atmosphere has been provided for investments and sustainable development to flourish.
Governor Fubara made the assertion when he received a delegation of members of the Bishops and Gospel Ministers’ Association International Incorporated, Rivers State Chapter, at Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Represented by the Head of Rivers State Civil Service, Dr George Nwaeke, Governor Fubara said while most people took his meekness for weakness, his stance on peace has unarguably enhanced harmonious atmosphere of concord as residents sleep with their two eyes closed, and investors and shareholders are happy with the returns on investment.
He said, “Before, what they hear of Rivers State is that they are fighting, and some genuine investors will not come. Some people even ask you: How are you coping in Rivers State?
“But now”, he asserted: “The Governor has brought about a lot of changes in the State. One of the most important things is that he has changed the negative narrative. It is no longer Rivers of blood. It is now Rivers of peace.
“We are enjoying our lives here. Why? Because there is a change in the narrative. We have peace. The Governor is, as much as possible, absorbing any level of insult at him only for one purpose: that Rivers State may have peace; that we may grow; that this state will experience genuine development.”
Governor Fubara urged them, as members of the Christian family in the State, to continue to pray for the State and the Government so that the enemies of the State will be put to greater shame.
“This peace is what I want you to embrace. Go and continue to pray, because when the sower of the seed went and sowed, the enemy went in the night and sowed tares inside there. But the Governor is sowing peace.
“When I listened to the leader of the team, His Grace Eddy Ogbonda, he said you came all the way from Eleme Junction, and stopped at major junctions, and you uttered prayers for the peace of Rivers State.”
He also said: “I, hereby want to thank you for identifying with the Governor at a time like this. At a time when it looks as if someone wants the Governor’s peace posture misunderstood as weakness.
“When someone has the strength to fight back, but refuses to fight back. That is a bigger strength; that power of restrain does not just come, it can only come from God.
“You cannot give peace, if you do not have peace within you. The Governor is not interested in any form of trouble or violence. What he is interested in is known, and it is: let there be peace in Rivers State,” he said.
In his address, leader of the group, Archbishop Eddy Ogbonda, said they had observed a week-long intensive prayers that culminated into a peace rally, which brought them to Government House, and assured the Governor that God will continue to give him victory over his adversaries while preserving Rivers State.
“It is Rivers State Prophetic Prayer Convocation and Rally 2024 with the theme: ‘Peace be still’. Of a truth, everyone of us understands that we live in a time when we need peace much more than any other thing.
“Rivers State needs peace. Everyone as individuals need peace. The country needs peace, and the world at large needs peace. So, we are here to do a peace march. We pray that God will command His peace to reign in Rivers State,” he said.

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Hoteliers, School Owners Charging In Dollars Risk Arrest -EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has stated that hotels, schools, and other establishments that accept payments in dollars from their customers are at risk of facing arrest.
The Chairman of EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said this in the agency’s publication called EFCC Alert on Monday, adding that action would be taken against individuals involved in the dollarisation of the economy.
According to him, the exception is if foreigners come in to transact business and the only means of transacting is their credit card and dollar but to charge local customers in dollars or other foreign currencies would no longer be allowed.
He said charging local activities and customers in dollars is against Nigeria’s constitution.
The EFCC chairman said, “Schools that charge Nigerians in dollar, supermarkets that trade in dollar, estate developers that sell their property in dollar, hotels that are invoicing in dollar, we are coming after you and we have made arrests in that area.
“Yes, if foreigners are coming in and the only means of transacting is their credit card, and dollar, why not? You will get that.
“But document it properly as against selling things within the system, local economy and you will be using dollar as the medium of exchange, it is illegal.
“Our law does not allow for that. And we have also affected some arrests.”

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Eid-El-Fitr: Fubara Felicitates Muslims, Calls For Unity, Tolerance

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has enjoined Muslim faithful to remain steadfast to the lessons learnt during the holy month of Ramadan.
Governor Fubara stated this in his message of felicitations to Muslims as they celebrate the 2024 Eid-el-Fitr Sallah, which marks the end of the one-month Ramadan fasting.
The Governor emphasised the importance for Muslims to also uphold the tenets of Islam by exhibiting the fear of God and showing piety in their daily work.
Governor Fubara said, “We must all continue in the good attributes imbibed during the holy month of Ramadan as directed by God through His Prophet, so as to ensure peace, unity and harmony in the society for a better future.”
While praying that the essence of the festival offers them happiness, peace and prosperity in all aspects of life, Governor Fubara said he recognises and appreciates the critical role that the Muslim community continues to play in the development of Rivers State, and indeed, Nigeria at large.
Governor Fubara charged them to remain unwavering and steadfast in their commitment and positive contributions to advance the development of the State and the country.
“I enjoin you all in the State to remain calm, be patient and continue to do what is right,” the Governor added.
He wished the Muslim faithful in the State and across the country a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

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