Wike Challenges FG On Foreign Loans …As Mimiko Inaugurates Rumuola Flyover
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.
Wike Mocks Amaechi, Abe, Debunks Allegations Of INEC Chairman Working Under Him …Urges Security Agencies To Invite Amaechi For Questioning
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has refuted allegation by former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, once worked under him as a minister.
The governor noted that Amaechi’s spurious claim that Yakubu was nominated by someone in the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s camp of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was tantamount to public incitement and a threat to national security.
Wike, in a state broadcast on the outcome of the March 18th, 2023, governorship/National Assembly elections in the State, yesterday, said Amaechi’s outburst that the just conducted general elections by INEC was the worst in Nigeria’s history, is ludicrous.
He said, “The truth was that Mahmood Yakubu never worked under me. Both of us worked in the Federal Ministry of Education. He was the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, supervised by the Minister of Education, while I was the Minister of State for Education.
“At any rate, was Mahmood Yakubu INEC’s chairman in the 2015 general elections in Rivers State when we defeated him and his political party as a sitting Governor and Director-General of Muhammadu Buhari’s Presidential Campaign?
“Was it not the same Mahmood Yakubu that conducted the 2019 general election, which the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari won? Was he working for Atiku Abubakar of the PDP when, as a sitting super Minister of Transportation, he could not win 25% for President Buhari in Rivers State in the 2019 general election?”
Wike wondered why it took this long for Amaechi , who served as a minister for over seven years under President Buhari to speak out about his opposition to Mahmood Yakubu’s reappointment.
He observed that in his frustration, Amaechi had publicly denounced and claimed to know so much bad things about the Federal Government that he served for seven year, but, regrettably, lacked the courage to tell Nigerians what he claimed to know about Buhari’s government, which he alleged had totally failed.
“In saner climes, law enforcement agencies should have invited such a devious and malignant character for hate speech, public incitement and threat to national security, public safety and order. By his mischievous statements, Rotimi Amaechi attempted to attribute, locate and blame his infamous political failures and frustrations in Rivers State on the INEC’s chairman.
“In the 2015 general elections, we defeated him as a sitting Governor and Director-General of the Buhari campaign in Rivers State. In the 2019 general elections, we beat him as President Buhari’s super Minister and Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign.
“He could not even influence 25% of the votes for his party, even after using the Army to cause mayhem and attempt to rig the election. In 2023, we defeated him as an ordinary person. This shows that Rotimi Amaechi cannot win any electoral contest with us in Rivers State”, the governor said.
Wike stressed that the outcome of the 2023 general elections in Rivers State has again exposed Amaechi, the APC governorship candidate, Tonye Cole and his Social Democratic Party counterpart, Senator Magnus Abe, as political paperweights and rejects.
“The APC gubernatorial candidate, Tonye Cole, lost in his Ward and Local Government Area. He lost in almost all electoral units, wards and Local Government Areas of the State. Tonye Cole never ran any effective political campaigns. His party was fractured beyond redemption. He was literarily waiting for his godfather and business partner, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi to magically make him governor.
“Rotimi Amaechi also lost to the PDP in his community, Ubima, his Ward and the Local Government Area. Both forgot that Rivers people knew them as an evil partnership that diverted the State’s $50,000,000.00 and declined overwhelmingly to vote for them”, Wike alleged.
The governor further said that the electoral fate of the SDP candidate, Senator Abe, who lost woefully in 15 out of 17 wards in his native Gokana Local Government Area, was also not better.
“Magnus’s vaunting ambition was to have a chance to be named on the ballot as a gubernatorial candidate of any party, having twice been denied the APC by his former friend, political leader and associate, Rotimi Amaechi. He achieved this limited and useless ambition when he hurriedly decamped from the APC to the SDP.”
Wike challenged Abe to explain to the world his relationship with the INEC Director of Security, Lebara Nduh, who allegedly availed him and his supporters with fake INEC security tags.
The governor thanked Rivers people for voting Fubara as the next governor, adding that the results already announced by the INEC show that the PDP won 31 of the 32 State House of Assembly constituencies.
He, however, extended olive branch to the opposition to join in moving the State forward.
According to him, he has received assurance from the governor-elect of his willingness to work with the opposition to advance the interests of the State.
The governor also appreciated the security agencies’ professionalism throughout the elections and promised that the State Government would defray the medical expenses of any security personnel injured during the elections.
Wike congratulated all PDP governors-elects nationwide for their electoral victories.
He said now that the elections are over, PDP members desperately need to close ranks and work together to reclaim, rebuild, and reposition the party based on equity, fairness and justice to serve and advance the country’s unity, security and progress.
Petrol Price Increased By 54.76% Per Litre, NBS Confirms
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has said that the average retail price of a litre of Petrol increased from N170.42 in February 2022 to N263.76 in February 2023.
It made the declaration in its Petrol Price Watch for February 2023 released in Abuja, yesterday.
It stated that the February 2023 price of N263.76 represented a 54.76 per cent increase over the price of N170.42 recorded in February 2022.
“Comparing the average price value with the previous month of January 2023, the average retail price increased by 24.58 per cent from N257.12.
“On states profiles analysis, Jigawa paid the highest average retail price of N329.17 per litre, followed by Rivers and Ebonyi at N323.33 and N317.14, respectively.
“Conversely, Niger paid the lowest average retail prices of N198.50 per litre, followed by Plateau at N198.71 and Abuja at N200,’’ it stated.
Analysis by zone showed that the South-East recorded the highest average retail price in February 2023 at N306.86 per litre, while the North Central recorded the lowest at N215.01 per litre.
The NBS also stated in its Diesel Price Watch Report for February 2023 that the average retail price was N836.91 per litre.
It explained that the February 2023 price of N836.91 per litre amounted to a 168.26 per cent increase over the N311.98 per litre paid in February 2022.
“On a month-on-month basis, the price increased by 0.98 per cent from the N828.82 per litre recorded in January 2023,’’ it added.
On states profiles analysis, the report said the highest average price of diesel in February 2023 was recorded in Bauchi at N904.33 per litre, followed by Abuja at N885 per litre and Adamawa at N873.33 per litre.
On the other hand, the lowest price was recorded in Bayelsa at N767.14 per litre, followed by Katsina State at N778.75 per litre and Edo at N789.43 per litre.
In addition, the analysis by zone showed that the North Central had the highest price at N850.65 per litre, while the South-South recorded the lowest price at N814.63 per litre.
Buhari Rejects NASS Bill On Power To Summon President, Govs
President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to assent to the Constitution Amendment Bill on power to summon the President and state governors.
The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, who dropped the hint during yesterday’s plenary, lamented the refusal of the President to assent to the constitution alteration bill and 18 others.
Buhari had, last Friday, assented to 16 out of the 35 constitution alteration bills transmitted to him for assent by the National Assembly.
Informing the Senate in plenary on the presidential action, Lawan said out of the 35 constitution alteration bills forwarded to the President in January, only 16 were assented to.
According to the Senate President, the most striking of the assented 16 bills was the Fifth Alteration Bill Number 6 which makes provisions for financial independence of State Houses of Assembly and Judiciary.
Lawan listed others to include those that dwell on power devolutions in the areas of moving railway services, correctional centres and power generation and distribution, from the exclusive list to concurrent list.
He, however, vowed that the 19 bills that were not assented to by the President would still be pursued vigorously by both chambers of the National Assembly for that purpose.
The first of such 19 bills not assented to by the President was the Fifth Alteration Bill Number 24 , which sought for an Act to Alter the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Empower the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly to Summon the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Governors of States to Answer Questions on issues on which the National and State Houses of Assembly have the Powers to make.
Also. Fifth Alteration Bill Number 7 which sought for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to compel persons to obey or comply with Legislative Summons, was refused assent by the President.
Others important ones are: Fifth Alteration Bill Number 29 which sought for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for a State of the Nation and State of the State Address by the President and Governor.
Fifth Alteration Bill Number 22 which sought for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Specify the period within which the President or the Governor of State shall present the Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly or House of Assembly.
Fifth Alteration Bill Number 30 which sought for “an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Include Former Heads of the National Assembly in the Council of State.
Fifth Alteration Bill Number 14 which sought for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to move Fingerprints, Identification and Criminal Records from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List.
Fifth Alteration Bill Number 18 which sought for “an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Empower the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission to Enforce Compliance with Remittance of Accruals into and Disbursement of Revenue from the Federation Account and Streamline the Procedure for Reviewing the Revenue Allocation Formula.
Fifth Alteration Bill Number 66 which sought for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Reflect the Establishment and Core Functions of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps etc.
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