Amaechi littered Rivers state with abandoned projects – Tam-George

5 years ago

The Rivers state government has maintained that the state was dotted with plethora of “abandoned projects” before the assumption of Governor Nyesom Wike into office.
Commissioner for Information in Rivers state, Austin Tam-George said this while speaking with a cross-section of newsmen in Port Harcourt in a comprehensive interview.

Tam-George said ?the Rivers was in a deplorable state under former Governor Rotimi Amaechi.

Tam-George told DAILY POST that the state Government will continue to work towards achieving genuine peace in the interest of the people of the state.

He also took a swipe at opposition politicians in the state for fanning the embers of war to create a wrong impression for Rivers.

DAILY POST: How have you been coping with the drop in revenue as Federation Allocation has dropped drastically?

TAM-GEORGE: To understand the achievements of Governor Wike in public spending and financial management, I think it is important to lay out the context in which his government came into office.

The Wike government inherited the most abandoned projects in the history of Rivers State, since 1967. It also inherited four months of unpaid salaries for civil servants, six months of unpaid pensions; there were eight months of salary arrears for other categories of staff, including teachers, 11 months of unpaid salaries for staff of the state football clubs. Most importantly, Governor Wike inherited an empty treasury and billions of Naira of debt.

To worsen matters, not a scrap of paper was received as handover notes from the previous administration. Even the Governor’s official residence was vandalized, with beds, mattresses and even cooking pots stolen by officials of the previous administration. As a result, in all the 36 States of Nigeria today, Governor Wike is the only Governor forced to go to work every day, from his personal home.

But within three months of his government, Governor Wike cleared all outstanding salary arears and pensions. We have never failed to meet our salary or pension obligations since this administration began.

Through an advanced biometric staff vetting process introduced by the Governor, over 7, 000 ghost workers have been swept off the civil service payroll, saving the State billions of Naira that for years had been lost to payroll fraudsters.

Today, right priority, financial prudence and transparency are the pillars of public spending in Rivers State.

DAILYPOST: The Federal Government has cited the increasing militancy in the Niger Delta as one of the reasons for the drop in revenue and also in power generation. How is the Rivers government helping to reduce militancy in the region?

TAM-GEORGE: Governor Wike has denounced violence or any form of militancy, be it in the Niger Delta or in the North East where the people continue to live in dread of the merciless terrorism of Boko Haram, or anywhere in Nigeria. He has held series of strategic security meetings with other Governors and even the Presidency, in order to bring the scourge of violence to an end.

On the directive of the Governor, my Ministry is leading an intensive anti-cultism and anti-militancy media campaign in Rivers State.

DAILY POST: How would you describe the state of affairs in Rivers State 14 months into the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike

TAM-GEORGE: Governor Wike has brought Rivers State back on its feet again. There is an impressive momentum of development everywhere you turn. The government is re-vitalising the State through the provision of critical infrastructure. Roads that were abandoned for decades and were impassable in many places have been completely re-constructed. Over 180 km of roads across the State have been completed in one of the most challenging terrains for constructions.

The Governor is implementing a massive urban renewal plan, and the construction of roads and bridges form the centrepiece of this plan. Even street lights and road traffic lights are being restored on all major roads.

In Rivers State, the people have been sensitised to insist on their sovereign right to choose their leaders. We consider election rigging as worse than armed robbery. We make no apologies for defending our peoples’ right to a free and fair electoral process.

DAILY POST: What exactly is your quarrel with recent police posting in Rivers State? It is like your Governor is not comfortable with the re-deployment?

TAM-GEORGE: As a principle, Governor Wike supports and works closely and respectfully with all security agencies. All he wants is for the security agencies to be insulated from partisan politics, so that they could focus on their jobs. That is his point. Police and other security personnel posted to serve in Rivers State should fight crime and help maintain the peace.

We welcome and will support anyone posted to Rivers State. We only ask that they conduct their work professionally. This is the governor’s point. He will continue his unflinching support to the police and all security institutions in the State.

In Rivers State, the people have been sensitised to insist on their sovereign right to choose their leaders. We consider election rigging as worse than armed robbery. We make no apologies for defending our peoples’ right to a free and fair electoral process.

DAILY POST: What exactly is your quarrel with recent police posting in Rivers State? It is like your Governor is not comfortable with the re-deployment?

TAM-GEORGE: As a principle, Governor Wike supports and works closely and respectfully with all security agencies. All he wants is for the security agencies to be insulated from partisan politics, so that they could focus on their jobs. That is his point. Police and other security personnel posted to serve in Rivers State should fight crime and help maintain the peace.

We welcome and will support anyone posted to Rivers State. We only ask that they conduct their work professionally. This is the governor’s point. He will continue his unflinching support to the police and all security institutions in the State.

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