Wike Urges COREN To Advocate Review Of Procurement Law
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has enjoined the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, to canvass for the overhaul of the procurement life cycle in the country.
The governor said such advocacy has become imperative because the current procurement life cycle in the country, and inadequate budgetary system are the primary reasons for prevalence of abandoned projects.
Governor Wike gave the charge to COREN during the inauguration of the Rivers State Technical Committee (RSTC) and Rivers State Expatriate Monitoring Committee of Engineering Regulation at Nigerian Society for Engineers secretariat in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Works, Dr. George-Kelly Dakorinama Alabo, attributed the infrastructural feat achieved by his administration to the proactive budgetary system adopted by the State government.
According to him, in every given year, over 70 percent of the State budget is dedicated to capital expenditure, and 30 or less to recurrent expenditure.
Governor Wike explained that on assumption of office, he had approached the State House of Assembly to adjust the procurement law to make it more realistic and practicable.
He said the adjustment of the State procurement law laid the foundation and framework for his administration to conceptualise, initial and complete projects on record time.
Governor declared that the Nabo Graham Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School constructed by the Rivers State government in Port Harcourt within eight months, should have ordinarily been completed between four to five years if the country’s existing procurement life cycle was followed.
“The procurement life cycle here in Nigeria is very long. If you follow the procurement life cycle religiously before you give birth to a project and commence construction, it will take like three, four, five months.
“If you follow Procurement Act 2000, which recommends for about 15 percent mobilisation fees, and then you budget 15 percent in your yearly budget, just like the federal government budget is being done.
“If you take it to the National Assembly they will put 15 percent of the cost of the project in the budget. When you put 15 percent of the cost of the project in the budget, what are we saying? we are saying that this project should be completed in 6 years or more.
“When you look at your contract completion period, if your contract completion period of the project is one year and you budget fully for that project in that particular year, then you are sure of completing that project in that particular year.
“If your contract completion project or a given project is two years, and then you budget 50 percent of the cost of that project in this year’s budget, 50 percent of cost in the next year’s budget, then you have done the right thing.”
The Rivers State governor disclosed that by adopting a realistic procurement law and budgetary system, his administration has in less than eight years achieved over 890 kilometres of roads, including dualised ones.
He further added that in one or two weeks, over 1000 Km of roads constructed would have been achieved.
“We have done drainages of over 493 Km in the past seven to eight years. We have done flyovers and overpasses of over 11km in just four years. We have done several river crossing bridges of 3Km. When I say 3 Km, some maybe 300 metres long, some maybe 400 metres long.”
Governor Wike said adoption of a practicable procurement law and realistic budget system will help eliminate the problem incessant request for variation in the construction industry.
The Rivers State governor advised every Bureau of Public Procurement in the country to have a functional price intelligence unit.
Governor Wike commended COREN for inaugurating the Rivers State Technical Committee (RSTC) and Rivers State Expatriate Monitoring Committee of Engineering Regulation as part of measures to eliminate quackery in the construction industry.
“I strongly support the formation of the Rivers State technical committees, and I can assure you that the two engineers we have as members there, are engineers of no mean repute and engineers that know their onion. I can assure you that they are going to add value to whatever you are doing.”
The national president of COREN, Prof Sadiq Zubairu Abubakar, said they were in Port Harcourt on a visit to study the achievements of the State government in engineering practice.
He said governor Wike has executed projects that are too numerous to mention, particularly the construction of 12 flyovers between 2019 and 2023.
Abubakar said it is his sincere wish that governor Wike’s sterling performance in office will change the psychic and mindset of other political leaders at various levels in Nigeria.
According to him, it is noteworthy that progress and good governance courtesy of governor Wike, is spread across Rivers State, through the delivery of infrastructure that the average citizen can see, feel, use and touch.
“We have confirmed what the President of our country, General Muhammadu Buhari bestowed on His Excellency, the governor of Rivers State, as the best governor for infrastructural development in Nigeria. we have seen the projects.
The COREN president, who later visited Nabo Graham Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt and some of the flyovers, said governor WIke has created a niche for himself as a person, and has changed the narrative of governance in Nigeria.
“The plan, policy and maintenance culture is very high, and we expect that these efforts will speak volumes down the road that Rivers State have indeed seen a governor that is going to leave an enduring legacy in the area he has chosen to make impact.”
The Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Emeka Woke, assured COREN that the representatives of the State government in the two committees will work in accordance with the Engineers Registration Act Cap of 2004 and other operational guidelines.
We’ll Expand Socio-Economic Opportunities For All Rivers People -Fubara ……As Wike Bows Out
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has declared his administration’s resolve to expand the existing socio-economic opportunities in order to engender prosperity for all Rivers people.
Fubara made this declaration on Monday at the General Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia, venue of his swearing-in as the sixth democratically elected governor of Rivers State.
Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Amadi, administered the oath of office on the new governor and his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu.
Thereafter, the former governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, handed over the flag of Rivers State and handover notes to his successor.
Fubara, in his inaugural address titled “Together, Let’s Consolidate the New Rivers State”, noted the poor state of the national economy, but promised that his administration would take measures to diversify Rivers economy and insulate it so that it can grow.
He also assured of promoting the climate of ease of doing business in the State to attract direct foreign investment capable of empowering Rivers people.
“The primary responsibility of a new government is to do its best to advance the security and well-being of the State and its citizens.
“Therefore, as we undertake our responsibilities, we promise to stay the course, commit to cooperative governance and expand opportunities for everyone. The wishes of our people for a happy life are our mission in politics.
“We will prioritise the well-being of the State and citizens with a renewed focus on economic growth, people-centred projects and social services”, he said.
He said further that, “We will improve the ease of doing business and sustain a congenial fiscal regime to attract local and foreign direct investments to stimulate greater economic activities, create wealth and improve citizens’ livelihoods.
“We will adopt a re-industrialization policy master plan and partner with the private sector to revive or establish viable industries to create jobs and empower our people.
“We will also support the growth of small businesses and encourage commercial agriculture to achieve food security, industrialization and improved living standards for citizens.”
Fubara added that his administration is already building on the successes of his predecessor and will construct more projects including the Port Harcourt ring road.
According to him, there shall be healthy partnership with private investors to provide integrated inter-modular public transportation system in the State.
“We witnessed unprecedented growth in infrastructure in the last eight years, but there’s still more to do.
“We will follow our leader’s footsteps to invest in capital projects, including roads, bridges, electricity supply to our rural areas, and social housing.
“We will, therefore, partner with the private sector to develop an integrated multimodal public transportation system to advance mass mobility and access to socio-economic opportunities across the state.
“We will also construct the Port Harcourt Ring Road to enhance the mobility of goods and services across the State”.
Fubara said the challenges in the health sector like inadequate manpower and corruption would be addressed to achieve optimal performance.
In the education sector, he promised to provide smart classrooms for students to prepare for global competition, empower the youths with skills to become economically active while being connected to small and medium scale business opportunities.
He said, “We care about our youth. We know they need jobs, opportunities, empowerment and the freedom to build sound, promising futures. We will not abandon our youth to their fate. We will continue prioritizing education at all levels and empower our youth with the relevant skills and opportunities to become economically active, productive and prosperous.
“We believe in the job creation capacity of small and medium enterprises. And so, we shall facilitate targeted access to low-interest funds for youth entrepreneurs to start or improve their businesses, earn decent incomes and generate employment for themselves and others.”
The governor particularly acknowledged the achievements of his predecessor in the health sector saying, “We are also proud of the state’s achievements in the healthcare sector, particularly the construction of new primary healthcare centres, the Mother and Child Hospital, the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases Diagnostic and Treatment Centre and the contributory Healthcare Insurance Law.
“With what is on the ground, it is evident that the primary challenges with our healthcare system are more with inadequate manpower, corruption, indiscipline and ineffective management”.
Fubara gave a firm assurance by saying: “I assure you that apart from completing all ongoing healthcare infrastructure projects, we will deal with all identified challenges and ensure that the healthcare system functions optimally to deliver affordable and efficient healthcare to citizens.
“We are equally proud of the State’s unprecedented educational advancement, especially in the last four years. Our public schools at all levels, irrespective of location, are some of the lovely and best-resourced in the country.”
According to him, his administration will consolidate on the progress made so far by “introducing smart schools and classrooms across the State to empower our children with world-class learning experiences and make Rivers State a knowledge hub.”
Fubara vowed to be hard on crime and criminality in the State saying, “We will be hard on crime and criminality. We will swiftly and firmly deal with anyone, regardless of status or position, rich or poor, who breaks our laws or dares to violate our environment, peace and security”.
The governor thanked civil servants for their support and promised regular payment of salary, gratuity, more training, promotion for them and housing for low income earners.
Describing the civil servants as members of his constituency, he said, “To our civil servants, I thank all of you for your invaluable contributions to the state’s progress over the years.
“We appreciate your indispensability and promise to meet all our obligations to you, including regular payment of wages, pensions, gratuity, training and promotions. All we ask is your continued patriotism, dedication, and enthusiasm in the execution of your official duties”.
He further promised to govern Rivers people with the fear of God, cognizance of the fact that Rivers is a Christian state.
He also assured the church and spiritual leaders of his administration robust partnership to enhance the moral and spiritual wellbeing of Rivers people.
“Rivers State is a Christian State, and God is our foundation. We shall govern with the fear of God and stay strong to our Christian values of trust, faith, love, care and sacrifice.”
“We shall deepen the inseparable ties between the Church and the State government for the benefit of our people. We assure the Christian Association of Nigeria and other spiritual leaders of our sincere friendship, support and solidarity.
“We will continue to support and work with the Church to defend our faith, advance our values and enhance our people’s moral and spiritual well-being”, he assured.
At the Government House, Port Harcourt, the governor hung the official portraits of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his own and that of his predecessor, Wike.
… Appoints Nwaeke HoS, Ideozu Acountant General
The Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has approved two new strategic appointments in the state Civil Service.
In the latest development, the governor has approved the appointment of the most senior civil servant and permanent secretary, Dr. George Nwaeke as Head of Service, Rivers State.
He also approved the appointment of Dr Uche Ideozu as the new Accountant General of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications in Rivers State, Ibiwari Clapton-Ogolo, Esq, said that the appointments take immediate effect.
The two fresh appointments bring to six the number of appointments already made by the governor since assuming duties on Monday, May 29.
The first set of appointments was the nomination of four former commissioners under Governor Nyesom Wike as commissioner-designates.
The names are Prof Zaccheaus Adangor, Dr Dakorima George-Kelly, Isaac Kamalu, and Prof Prince Chinedu Mmom.
While Adangor was attorney general and commissioner for justice, George-Kelly was works commissioner, Kamalu was finance commissioner, and Mmom was education commissioner.
Fuel Scarcity: Tinubu Resumes Work, Meet With Emefiele, Kyari
President Bola Tinubu yesterday officially resumed work at the Presidential Villa, Abuja where he met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele and the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mr. Mele Kyari.
This was the first official assignment by the President after his inauguration as the 16th President of the country at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Monday.
The President arrived at the forecourt of the State House at about 2:30 pm through the quarter guard gate, which is his official entrance gate and was received by the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the outgoing Director of Protocol, DOP.
Others who received him were Emefiele, Kyari and a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. James Faleke, among others.
The President went straight to his office with Emefiele, Kyari, Gbajabiamila, Faleke and others.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not made public, it may not be unconnected with the removal of fuel subsidy and the attendant fuel scarcity.
It is expected that the issue of unification of foreign exchange, recent Naira redesign, among others will also be discussed.
Recall that President Tinubu had during his inaugural speech announced that the subsidy has been removed and this immediately made filling stations to shut down operations across the country.
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