By Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has clarified that his administration is not borrowing to execute projects in the state.
Speaking at the flag-off of the construction of Trans-Kalabari Road Phase 1in Degema Local Government Area yesterday, Wike reminded the people that even the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had confirmed his position.
Wike said he would not borrow to complete the Trans-Kalabari Road, which connects Krakrama, Omekwe-ama, Angula-ama, Mina-ama and other communities in the Kalabari area.
He said: “I am not borrowing money. It is a matter of how you manage the resources of the people.
“So, I do not owe any bank. I challenge any bank to say Rivers State government is indebted to them. The only money we took for agriculture, which Central Bank gave us, N5 billion, as I speak to you, we have not touched one Naira. The money is still in there.”
He said nobody would ever deceive Kalabari people with the promise of constructing Trans-Kalabari Road in the name of politics because the phase one of the project would be completed in 2022.
He said: “We have not only awarded the contract, we have awarded it in such a way that they (contractor) have nothing to do with us about funding.
“We have signed an irrevocable standing order where every month the contractor collects from the bank N1 billion. So, as this month is ending, that’ll be the third billion they’ve collected.
“I’ve told you here that we’ve instructed the banks, take N1 billion off from our IGR account every month and give to the contractor to do the project. So, we are not borrowing money from any bank.”
The governor expressed regrets that the previous administration received, at different times, N100 billion and N46 billion, without committing the funds to meaningful projects.
The Chairman of Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Anabraba, who performed the flag-off, said after a meeting with Wike, leaders of Kalabari nationality decided the road mapping of phase one of Trans-Kalabari Road project.
He said: “We are here with our heads raised her high, gathered here for a moment’s event. This laudable project was conceived 15yesrs ago, and it remained strong desire and aspiration. Luckily you came in and our dreams have come through.
“Although, this is just a flag-off, with your style of project execution, we can go home believing that it is as good as completed.”