Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says it is now obvious that the Federal Government is not interested in revitalising the nation’s economy because its programmes on stimulation of the economy have failed on all fronts.
The governor made the assertion at the inauguration of the Ezimgbu Road that was performed by the Adamawa State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri on Monday in Port Harcourt.
Governor Wike stated that if the development of infrastructure is one way to stimulate the economy, then the Federal Government approach to the development of such critical infrastructure should be apolitical.
The governor pointed to the deplorable condition of the Lagos- Ibadan Road that is so important to the nation’s economy and growth of interstate and regional business activities.
“Let me say something very clearly. When government say they want to stimulate economy and you wonder how are they going to stimulate and make the economy to grow. This morning, something came to my mind, and I said what a country is this?
“Look at a road like Lagos -Ibadan road, which is an important road in this country, cannot be competed by the Federal Government. They bring politics and ethnicity in everything we are doing.
“So, how do you stimulate the economy when a road like that cannot be completed until now. Look at the road leading to the (Port Harcourt) refinery, the seaport, up until now, the federal government cannot complete it. How do you stimulate the economy?”
Governor Wike also noted that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the Federal Government, which gives money to farmers, has not been implemented to yield desired impact.
The governor said it is not enough to go on media to announce how much has been expended in prosecuting those initiative if there cannot commensurate evidence.
“And then you hear trillions of Naira being budgeted for, you see people talk about giving N200billion to Anchor borrowers, Anchor leaders, to anchor this and that. We have no problem about giving money to agriculture. What we are saying, having given out this money, what is the impact?
“You’re saying that we don’t want more importation, we have no problems. We are in support of it. But having stopped importation, what is the fate of the ordinary Nigerians. Is the food there? If the food is there, is it cheap?
“So, the availability is not there, the cost is high, so what is the whole meaning of encouraging our farmers to produce. The whole money you have given what is the impact it has created?
“So, we should not be deceiving people. We should tell people we are able to do this and we did it. This (federal) administration is doing nothing to improve the life of the citizens.”
Speaking further, Governor Wike said he has told some leaders of Rivers State, who paid him a birthday visit, that the process of consultation for the next governor of the State has begun.
Governor Wike reiterated that no candidate will be imposed on the party or Rivers people. He has also urged any member of cabinet nursing governorship ambition to be at liberty to resign.
“This morning, our leaders came to me to wish me happy birthday. I told them thank you and that I also have a birthday gift for them. I told them, you know I’m leaving, now, we have to start consultation for who takes over.
“And I told them, let nobody go and spend his money because after the consultation, we will all sit down and say this is the person we think that should continue where we have stopped.
“So, the issue of who is going to take over from me, the process has started and it has stared today being my birthday. But what is important to us, like I have always said, we are not going to impose anybody.”
Governor Wike stated that it is important that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) continues to ensure that elections are free and fair.
According to him, if not for the courage to rig election, why will anybody in Rivers State be gearing up to campaign for election on the platform of another party instead of the PDP. He said whatever their plans are, they will fail.
Performing the inauguration, the Adamawa State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri noted that he had always known Governor Wike as a man who has instituted a culture of commissioning projects in Rivers State for the use of the people.
Accorded to him, it is from Rivers State, under Governor Wike, that they have all learnt that one can deliver on multiple projects and dedicate a whole month to commissioning them.
“As recent as April this year, so many projects were commissioned in the State and today, instead of receiving birthday gifts from the Rivers people, he has decided to celebrate his birthday in a grand style by giving Rivers people a carnival of commissioning.”
Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the dualised Ezimgbu Road is 7.3meter wide on both sides with a median of 0.5meters and bordered by drains on both sides with side walks.
Tasie-Amadi pointed out that not only has the reconstruction of the Ezimgbu Road saved travel time for commuters, it has also afforded property owners enhanced value on their property and accessibility.