WE’RE NOT BORROWING FROM BANKS TO FINANCE PROJECTS, SAYS GOV WIKE; FLAGS-OFF TRANS-KALABARI ROAD

L-R: Chairman of Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Anabraba; Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (middle) and Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry-Banigo during the flag off of Trans-Kalabari Road Central Group Segment Alignment E, Phase 1 at Degema on Thursday, June 24, 2021

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that his administration takes great care in executing its several development projects to completion stage without being indebted to any financial institution.

A report by Kelvin Ebiri, Special Assistant (Media) to the Rivers State Governor, disclosed that Governor Wike, speaking at the flag-off ceremony for the construction of Trans-Kalabari Road Phase 1 in Degema Local Government Area on Thursday, June 24, 2021, reminded the people that even the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has attested to that position.

Governor Wike stated that he is not borrowing to fund any project in the state and will definitely not do so to complete the Trans-Kalabari Road that is connecting Krakrama, Omekwe-ama, Angula-ama, Mina-ama and other communities in the Kalabari area.

“People are asking where am I getting the money from. People are saying I’m borrowing money. If I borrow money to develop my place (state) is there any offense there? They that borrow, did they do the road? If I’m borrowing and doing the work, have I not done well?

“But in any case, I am not borrowing money. It is a matter of how you manage the resources of the people.

“So, I’m not owing 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.”

Governor Wike recalled how in 2009, the previous administration in the State implemented a payment module that clearly showed its lack of interest in either constructing or completing the Trans-Kalabari Road that it awarded then.

According to Governor Wike, no longer will anybody come to hoodwink Kalabari people with the promise of constructing Trans-Kalabari Road in the name of politics, because the phase one of the project will be completed in 2022.

“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 in the State that received, at different times, N100 billion and N46 billion, was not well meaning and committed to executing the project.

According to Governor Wike, what matters to his administration is what can be done with the privilege that the people have given to them.

Chairman of Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Anabraba, who performed the flag-off, said after a meeting with Governor Wike, leaders of Kalabari nationality met at home and decided the road mapping of the phase one of Trans-Kalabari Road project.

“We are here with our heads raised high, gathered here for a moments event. This laudable project was conceived 15yesrs ago, and it remained strong desire and aspiration. Luckily you came in and our dreams has come through.

“Although, this is just a flag-off, but with your style of project execution, we can go home believing that it is as good as completed.”

Rivers State Commissioner of Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the Trans-Kalabari Road Phase 1 is a 13.599km road project and it features one bridge and will connect several island communities to the mainland of the State via the existing Buguma/Degema/Abonemma Rd.

“It will provide an economically viable alternative to marine transportation and further stimulate other developments in and around the Area by easing the movement of goods, services and persons.”

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