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Fubara Is A Manifestation Of God’s Own Intervention – Samuel-Horsefall

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Chief Paworiso Samuel-Horsfall, a tested politician and an astute administrator with a rich pedigree in public service spanning decades, is a former Commissioner in Rivers State under the administration of Sir (Dr) Peter Odili.
In this exclusive interview, the revered Kalabari Chief, who is the Coordinator of the SIMPLIFIED MOVEMENT in Asari-Toru Local Government Area, gave his verdict on Governor Siminialayi’s one year in office and revealed the underbelly of the political crisis in Rivers State.
Excerpts:
QUESTION – The Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara is celebrating his one year on the saddle, what is your scorecard of his administration in the midst of a political crisis barely three months of his assumption of office?
ANSWER – The Governor has proved his detractors very wrong, very wrong and I can safely score him 90 percent in terms of performance and good governance. I Chief Paworiso Samuel-Horsfall can safely score him 90 percent. There is this saying that a good dancer is known  from the first step and then look at all His Excellency, Governor Siminalayi Fubara has done, from the first step of handling the issues of civil servants and Rivers people; look at the payment of unprecedented Christmas  bonus; the promotions; the provision of single digit interest loans to over 3,000 Small Scale  and Medium Scale business  owners in the State and the provision of 20,000 housing units to low income earners. Then get into his achievements in the area of infrastructural development spread acros the State. It is massive, so massive that it is difficult to believe that there is indeed any form of crisis in Rivers State.
The incumbent Governor also has a new approach to governance by deciding not to inherit his predecessor’s enemies and also continue to abandon laudable projects that would benefit the State and give good governance. Now, that is part of the problem. For instance, the Songhai Farm  which the former Governor, who is now the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Barr. Nyesom Wike, killed. Likewise the Fish Farms in Buguma and other places. Wike killed them because of his political differences with his predecessor, Rt Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, not minding the benefits those projects could bring to Rivers people.
Wike killed them but we know that agriculture today should be the mainstay after our oil and gas. But because  the incumbent Governor decides that Songhai Farm should be revamped, it is a problem for his predecessor, Wike. That’s a shame.
The incumbent Governor knows that the farm and the other agricultural projects would, at least, create employment and also put food on our tables, so he went ahead with it.
There are moribund industries he is also going to look into. And then, look at  the projects that were initiated by his predecessor, he is completing and commissioning them. And most of the projects that his predecessor initiated became a debt burden on the current Governor. He has been  lamenting that part of the challenge is the debt burden  on him.
QUESTION  – But didn’t former Governor Wike tell Rivers people on several occasions that he was not owing any contractors and banks?
ANSWER – That is a big lie. Even our own Emohua-Kalabari road was left with about 72 percent debt. Wike paid only 28 percent of the contract cost, leaving a huge difference of 72 percent which was paid by Governor Fubara. What about the Port Harcourt Ring Road project? Wike caused the State to obtain a loan of about N200 billion and paid about N150 billion to the contractors, then the other N50 billion was given to his brother, the Estate Valuer. So as we speak today, the current Governor is paying back loans and this spreads round.
But to God be the glory that Governor Fubara was able to put his eyes down on the internally generated revenue from where he is able to initiate more projects, complete some within this period.
QUESTION  – You are a critical stakeholder in the Rivers project. What is your stake in this whole political crisis currently in the State?
ANSWER  – My stake on this crisis is that former Governor Nyesom Wike has probably failed to realise that he is no more in power as the Governor of Rivers State, that he is a Minister today, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory. And rather than restrict himself to his assignment as Minister of FCT, he wants to combine it as a third term Governor of Rivers State by trying to have absolute control. And Wike sees that as being grateful and loyal if Governor Fubara complies and as being ungrateful and disloyal if he does not comply.
So, you want to look at the genesis of the crisis, what happened that caused the State House of Assembly, as at then, to want to impeach the Governor who was barely three months in office? Now if you look at previous video clips of the former Governor, Wike, and his utterances, you find out that as at today, all that he is doing completely negates what he has said in the past.
Now, are you saying, a sitting Governor does not have authority to exercise in the governance of a State? We saw it even from the inception that the former Governor virtually established the cabinet. Right from the Chief of Staff to the appointment of principal Commissioners, all were done by the former Governor as evident in their behaviours. And the former Governor made restrictions to the incumbent Governor, including even meetings that he had to attend, not to attend. So you can see that the cabinet itself was established by the former Governor. What does that mean? That means that the former Governor wants to take absolute control of governance, because he is appointing SSG, Attorney- General, Works Commissioner, Education Commissioner, virtually all the key sectors of the government he is appointing.
He also has the Board of Internal Revenue in his pocket and boasts that he has the structure. While all that is going on with him dictating where and when and what meetings the incumbent Governor will attend, he also has the Board of Internal Revenue to his coffers, and when the incumbent Governor now wants to know about how much is actually being generated, problems started emanating from that angle.
The current Governor had been Finance Director, this and that until he got to Accountant General, so he knows about what the State generates internally, monthly,  and then it becomes a problem when he tries to ask questions. The former Board Chairman tells the former Governor, see what is happening, the Governor is trying to find out what is going on, and then the former Governor raises dust and then gives directives to the Assembly members to impeach him.
Meanwhile, because the former Governor has his sinister plans, he even made  the Speaker of the Assembly to come from his local government so that in the event that the Governor is impeached with his Deputy, the Speaker becomes the acting Governor, apparently showing that he is still in control, and that his ethnic nationality and local government area still in control. So, he gives order to  the Assembly members to impeach the Governor and that process caused the beginning of the crisis because the current Chief of Staff who was the the Leader of the Assembly and others refused to take part in such a terrible plan.
So, the problem started which eventually ended up in the emergence of a new Assembly headed by Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie when the former members defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) thereby vacating their seats and the issues continued like that until the President’s intervention. But during that incident, Rivers people rose up to say why will this happen? And the incumbent Governor himself asked, “what have I done to warrant  impeachment?” I think till date, that question has not been answered.
QUESTION  – Would you say the President’s intervention has in any way helped to resolve the crisis?
ANSWER  – Now, the President’s intervention which was meant to resolve this matter has escalated it and brought us to where we are today and, all due respect to our President, I want to blame him for the eight points agenda that he gave as a proclamation, political solution to the matter. That resolution was very unfair to the incumbent Governor and the good people of Rivers State. It has not helped in anyway because, first, the resolution seemed to have dismissed the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, when for instance it was obvious that the defection of the 27 or 25 members, as the case may be, to APC at a time there was no crisis in the PDP as clearly stated in section 109 subsection 1(g) that automatically meant that they have vacated their seats and the then Speaker who is now the Chief of Staff also declared their seats vacant and wrote to INEC and also to PDP.  The President thad that information and yet stated that as a father, what would he have done other than to accept them if members defect to his party? And he so accepts them and then decides that they remain as Assembly members. That is an impeachable offence in a civilised country, because he has completely violated the Constitution he swore to protect and defend.
Second, for the President to order that the budget that has been legitimately passed and signed into law as an appropriation law should be represented to the Martin Amaewhule led Assembly members was absurd. It is not done anywhere. He shouldn’t have dabbled into those areas that have legal and constitutional issues to resolve. And it seems to us that that resolution that was a proclamation did not originate from meeting with both parties. It is like an order, like reading a riot act, because he came in with that paper and handed over to my former boss, former Governor, Dr. Peter Odili to read and thereafter virtually threatened the Governor because he said he is using the carrot and stick stuff. The kind of utterances he made clearly shows a threat. Our Governor was threatened to sign or agree. And when he came, the Rivers people, and indeed well meaning Nigerians all over, raised their voices as an objection to that kind of proclamation from the President to a State governor. That’s why we are still where we are.
And whereas the incumbent Governor was trying to meet up the areas that he could without totally violating the Constitution, and also taking into cognisance the sensibility of Rivers people, because part of it was that he should recall the Commissioners that resigned and represent them to the Assembly that, abinitio, does not exist. He did that and came back and insisted of them behaving in a manner that would support the government and the Governor, they were rather doing things to sabotage the Government. Even in their utterances, they  were berating the Governor and clearly making him know that he is not their boss and that he is also not the leader of Rivers people and the party itself.
You can see a situation where the former Governor, Wike,  was at every opportunity throwing tantrums at the incumbent Governor, our dear beloved, peaceful, humane, humble, down-to-earth Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara. And ofcourse, it would be unwise for the Governor to sit, fold his hands and see himself being impeached for no reason. And he also responded appropriately and today we have a proper Assembly that is being led by Rt. Hon. Oko-Jumbo which has also declared these committee of friends as nonexistent, their seats also declared vacant and calling on INEC Chairman to put himself together to come and conduct fresh elections.
Meanwhile, there are legal issues involved in it for which the party (PDP), NGOs  are in Court to ensure that there is a legal pronouncement that their seats have been declared vacant by the reason of their  defections. So, that’s where we are and I can say that to a very large extent, infact totally, this whole problem was caused by the former Governor, Nyesom Wike, who sees himself as a demigod that must be worshipped by the entire State. A former Governor who, when he was in power, was a despot or as an autocrat, was a dictator. He was more like a Kabaka, who can not, I emphasize, dwell in a proper democratic setting, he can’t.
QUESTION  – Do you think that all these moves and actions of the former Governor Wike have anything to do with his presidential ambition?
ANSWER  – I can tell you for free that till tomorrow, Wike will still be wanting to aspire  to the office of the President.  If you look at the current appointments that he has been able to make while being Minister, he has been appointing them to juicy places where they can make money to add to what he might accumulate to sponsor his ambition of becoming president in the future. His ambition is still alive. It is that ambition and how to strategise for its huge funding and previous manipulations during and after the last elections that has put him into this problem. Everytime he does something or calculates, it is   purely selfish. You recall his escapades in his Presidential ambition in the PDP and how it landed him swallowing his vomit to become a Minister at last. Wike has serious Presidential ambition and that is where he is going to cross his path with the current President. He may be talking today that it is President Tinubu come 2027, it is a lie. Come that period, you will see the other side of him that we all know today.
QUESTION  – As the leader of the SIMPLIFIED MOVEMENT in Asari Toru Local Government Area, would you say that Asari-Toru people, and indeed Kalabari people, have felt the positive impact of Governor Fubara’s administration within this one year?
ANSWER  – In passing I mentioned the Emohua-Kalabari road, but beyond that, the main Trans-Kalabari road that previous administrations have failed to take on, Governor Fubara has flagged off its construction. A N225 billion project, the main Trans-Kalabari Road has started and guess what? He has also paid 30 percent mobilisation to the contractors. And you know what we are going to derive from the construction of that road? So, it is huge for us and even on the day of commissioning of the Emohua-Kalabari Road, the Governor made more pronouncements, promising to reconstruct the road leading from Buguma to Abonnema, in addition to the construction of the Tema-Ifoko road. Don’t we have all the reasons to be thankful to God for this Governor he has given to us for whom the former Governor is saying is a mistake?
QUESTION  – Chief, is it actually a mistake?
ANSWER – It is a blessing, it is the biggest blessing and a clear manifestation of God’s own intervention. This Governor is answered prayers of Rivers people. This is one of the areas I have seen that God actually uses the foolish things to confound the wise. So, I think that we as Kalabari people have every reason to be very grateful to God for giving us Sir Siminalayi Fubara as our Governor.

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Agric Remains Key Priority Of Our Govt -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has reiterated that agriculture remains one of the key priority areas of his administration.
He, therefore, stated that adequate steps have been taken to ensure the realisation of the vision of unlocking the food potential of the state agricultural sector through public, private partnership (PPP).
Governor Fubara stated this during the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SPAZ) Two Assessment Programme of the Federal Government, supervised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with African Development Bank (AfDB), with the theme: “Industrialization of Agricultural Sector for Inclusive Economic Growth”, held in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The Governor, who was represented by the Rivers State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Victor Kii, noted the state’s abundant fertile land, water resources and vibrant agricultural commodities, which place the state in advantageous position for partnership and investment in the agro-processing sector.
He said, “Our state is blessed with fertile land, abundant water resources and a vibrant agricultural commodity.
“As a Government, our Governor has made agriculture one of the key priorities of his administration. He has taken very decivise, concrete steps to translating this to reality,” he said.
Accordingly, his policy direction in respect to the Ministry of Agriculture is a public private partnership arrangement. So, I urge you all to explore the potential for public, private partnership and investment opportunity in our agro-processing sector,” he stated.
The Governor asserted that the tripod collaboration is a testament of the state government’s commitment to promote sustainable development and economic growth.
He also expressed optimism that the implementation of the SAPZ Two in the state will help to harness the state’s agricultural resources, create employment opportunities and boost agricultural industries.
He said, “This collaboration between the Federal Government and the African Development Bank and our state is a testament to our shared commitment to promoting sustainable development and the economic growth of the state.
“As a major boost, the implementation of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone Two programme will harness our agricultural resources to draw innovation, create employment opportunities for our youths and boost the agricultural industries in our state,” he added.
In his remarks, the leader of the Federal Government delegation and National Coordinator of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone Two, Dr Yusuf Kabir, said the programme focuses on boosting agriculture for industrialization for the growth of the nation’s economy in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.
Represented by the Financial Controller, SAPZ, Temitope Olaiwola, Dr Kabir, said with the phase one of the programme started in 2022 in seven states and the FCT, and lessons learnt from the implementation, the team was in Rivers State to assess the level of preparedness for the phase two of the project.
“As we are aware, the major focus of Renewed Hope Agenda of this government is agriculture. And until agriculture is industrialized, we go nowhere. And that is the full focus of SAPZ.
“It is not enough for us to produce, but it is important for us to industrialize our production, the value chain is preserved and ensure that our economy moves forward and improves the lives of our people at the end of the day.
“We started the phase one of SAPZ in 2022 in seven states and the FCT. Although we experienced a lot of implementation delay, we have a lot of lessons learnt. And based on the lessons learnt in implementing the programme in the pilot states, we decided to go into second phase.
“Therefore, I can say the states coming onboard the second phase, they are not disadvantaged states, because all the lessons learnt in implementing phase one will be used to improve on running phase two states,” he noted.
Also speaking, the representative of the African Development Bank, Ms Monde Nyambe, expressed the bank’s commitment to ensure that SAPZ Two is also implemented in Rivers State.
Nyambe, who is the Task Team Leader of the Nigeria SAPZ programme, noted that the presentations by the state government and discussions are to ensure the state’s eligiblity to participate in phase two of the programme.
In his vote of thanks, Head of Livestock and Veterinary Services, Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Godswill Ukoikpoko, thanked the Federal Government and the African Development Bank for chosing Rivers State for the second phase of the SPAZ programme, at a time the state government is giving agriculture desired attention, assuring of the state’s readiness to sustain the programme.
Highpoints of the programme were presentations of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), General and Financial Feasibility reports as well as Detailed Engineering Drawings by consultants which are prerequisite for the state’s eligiblity for onboarding the programme.

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Senate Passes NDDC N1.9trn 2024 Budget Jerks It By N44,833,046

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The Senate has passed the 2024 budget of N1,911,844,833,046 for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The NDDC budget was jerked by N44,833,046, where it moved from the initial N1,911,800,000,000 that was defended on Monday by the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Samuel Ogbuku when he presented the NDDC aggregate Expenditure of N1.911 trillion tagged “ Budget of Renewed Hope Agenda” before the Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, APC, Cross River South led Senate Committee on NDDC to N1,911,844,833,046.
The budget was read the third time and passed after the clause by clause consideration.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, submitted its report in less than 12 hours after the public hearing on the budget, where Ogbuku, appeared for defence of the budget.
According to the Senate, it considered increase by N44.8 million in Personnel Costs, Overhead Costs, Internal Capital estimates as well as adjustments in the Reve profile of the Commission, as well as considered the extra sum of N44, 833,046 being the difference from the Revenue Projections proposed by the Commission and the amount approved by the National Assembly as reflected in the Appropriations Act, 2024.
Ekpenyong said, “the Committee considered increase In Personnel Costs, Overhead Costs, Internal Capital estimates, as well as adjustments in the Revenue profile of the Commission.
The Committee also considered the extra sum of Forty Four Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty Three li) Thousand and Forty Six Naira (N44,833,046) being the difference from the Revenue Projections proposed by the Commission and the amount approved by the National Assembly as reflected in the Appropriations Act, 2024 and consequently recommends the following as the expenditure profile: Personnel Expenditure- N38,545,349,193 Overhead Expenditure- N29,246,506,753 Intemal Capital Expenditure -N8,785,574,130; Development Projects- N835,267,402,970 and Legacy Critical Projects to be funded through Borrowings – N1,000,000,000,000.TOTAL EXPENDITURE: N1,911,844,833,046.
“That the lifespan of the Year 2024 NDDC budget should elapse on 3ist December, 2024.”
The passage of budget was sequel to the consideration of the report of the Committee on NDDC that was presented by the chairman, Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, APC, Cross River South.
Shortly after presenting the budget, Senator Olamilekan, APC, Ogun West) observed that the Chairman of NDDC Committee was silent on the performance on 2023 upon which the 2024 was predicated.
Senator Adeola who was the first to pick holes in the report and queried how the budget performance of the agency for 2023 was not properly assessed before approving the 2024 budget in line with the legislative tradition, said that it amounts to process abuse for a proposal to be adopted without finding how the previous year budget was executed to justify fresh proposal, adding, “There is no mention of the performance of 2023 budget, so on what is the proposal for 2024 predicated?”
The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio had to contend with complaints on observed lapses by Senators who made contributions on the bill.
Speaking in the same vein, Senator Adamu Aliero, PDP, Kebbi Central who explained that NDDC has proposed to borrow N1 trillion in the budget proposal which he observed was not in the borrowing plan of the Federal Government, however admonished NDDC, as a child of necessity that must use the money appropriated to it to serve the interest of the people, adding that NDDC’s budget is more than two states put together without the impact been felt.
He said, “NDDC is a child of necessity and the money must be used in the interest of the people, even as its budget is more than two states and we have not seen much”.
On his part, Senator Seriake Dickson, PDP, Bayelsa West called for support of NDDC having gone through forensic audit so that request for borrowing could be brought later by President Bola Tinubu.
In his contribution, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, APC, Edo North maintained that things have improved in the NDDC and explained that the President could write to the Senate for borrowing after the budget might have been passed into law, urging lawmakers not to “judge the NDDC by its dirty past”.
He recalled how the South South governors called for forensic audit of accounts of the NDDC. “Mr. President, you recalled that we as governors agreed that forensic audit of NDDC be carried out. This was done and jobs done were paid and those not done were separated.”
After contributions, the President of the Senate, Akpabio called for vote and the budget was passed into law.

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FG, States, LGs Share N1.1tn May Revenue

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A total sum of N1,143.210 trillion May 2024 Federation Accounts Revenue has been shared to the Federal Government, States and Local Government Councils in the country.
The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) disclosed this in a communiqué issued at the end of its latest meeting, according to a statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Bawa Mokwa, on Monday.
The FAAC June 2024 meeting was chaired by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun.
According to Mokwa, the communiqué revealed that the N1,143.210 trillion total distributable revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N 157.183 billion, distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N463.425 billion, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) revenue of N15.146 billion and Exchange Difference revenue of N507.456 billion.
The statement disclosed that total revenue of N2,324.792 billion was available in the month of May 2024. Total deduction for cost of collection was N76.647 billion while total transfers, interventions and refunds was N1,104.935 billion.
It added that gross statutory revenue of N1,223.894 billion was received for the month of May 2024. This was lower than the sum of N1,233.498 billion received in the month of April 2024 by N9.604 billion.
“The gross revenue of N497.665 billion was available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) in May 2024. This was lower than the N500.920 billion available in the month of April 2024 by N3.255 billion.
“The communiqué confirmed that from the N1,143.210 billion total distributable revenue, the Federal Government received total sum of N365.813 billion, the State Governments received total sum of N388.419 billion and the Local Government Councils received total sum of N282.476 billion.
“A total sum of N106.502 billion (13% of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting States as derivation revenue.
“On the N157.183 billion distributable statutory revenue, the communiqué stated that the Federal Government received N61.010 billion, the State Governments received N30.945 billion and the Local Government Councils received N23.857 billion. The sum of N41.371 billion (13% of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting States as derivation revenue.
“The Federal Government received N69.514 billion, the State Governments received N231.713 billion and the Local Government Councils received N162.199 billion from the N463.425 billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue.
A total sum of N2.272 billion was received by the Federal Government from the N15.146 billion Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL). The State Governments received N7.573 billion and the Local Government Councils received N5.301 billion.
“From the N507.456 billion Exchange Difference revenue, the Federal Government received N233.017 billion, the State Governments received N118.189 billion and the Local Government Councils received N91.119 billion. A total sum of N65.131 billion (13% of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting States as derivation revenue.
The statement added that according to the communiqué, in the month of May 2024, Companies Income Tax Oil (CIT) and Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) increased significantly while Import and Excise Duties, Royalty Crude and Gas, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL), CET Levies and Value Added Tax (VAT) recorded considerable decreases.
It added that the balance in the ECA was $473,754.57.

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