ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has challenged Governor Siminalayi Fubara to provide a transparent account of the N144.2 billion federal allocation received by the state over the past five months, alleging a lack of visible development projects corresponding to the funds.
However, in defense of the governor, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Joseph Johnson, accused the APC of engaging in political maneuvers.
During a visit to the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, the Chairman of the state APC Caretaker Committee, Chief Tony Okocha, raised concerns about Fubara’s management of the state’s resources.
Okocha stated, “As a party in opposition in the state, we have received data of the sum received by the Rivers State Government from the Federal Allocation from June 22, 2023, to November 2023.”
He continued, “The amount received from federal allocation under the Governor is a whopping sum of N144,291,667,791.1. This amount is outside the Internally Generated Revenue of the state, which is conservatively estimated at N10 billion every month.
“We regret that this humongous amount has not translated to action in any way in terms of development in the state. What we see are heavily funded street processions and media-sponsored rallies in support of unnecessary political imbroglios.
“Fifth columnist and crisis entrepreneurs feed fat from our commonwealth. As a party, we shall not hesitate to punish any member of our party who is in the cohort in this gross financial malfeasance of our dear Rivers State.”
Okocha criticized the apparent lack of development projects in the state despite the significant funds received, highlighting instead heavily funded political activities.
In response, the Assembly Speaker, Amaewhule, assured that the legislature would prioritize laws that benefit the people and amend those deemed harmful.
He stated, “Rest assured that the 10th Rivers State House of Assembly will not do anything outside the law. Whatever we do today is for the interest of the state so that when we are out, others coming after us will feel the impact of the service and legislation we offered to the Rivers people.”
Meanwhile, Commissioner Johnson defended the Fubara administration’s financial prudence and accountability, citing ongoing projects and investments aimed at development.
Johnson emphasized, “When we come to the accountability forum, the Rivers people will see what we have done and, of course, they know that we are on course.”
He further elaborated on specific projects and initiatives undertaken by the government to address various sectors’ needs, refuting the APC’s allegations of financial mismanagement.
He said, “Even though it is too early to assess this government, I’m sure we have since hit the ground running.
“He (Okocha) forgot that we have given about N150bn legacy project for the Ring Road, which surpasses the N144bn he is talking about. We have paid 77 per cent of it.
“We are doing 20, 000hectres of land for housing units.
“So you don’t just raise issues or mention figures without a proper understanding as to how government works. That’s why I said it’s his own imagination.
“We have promoted civil servants who had not been promoted for over eight years. All those funds, if you calculated from June to November, it speaks volumes about what has entered. Our wage bill is N2.6bn just from the promotion of teachers alone.
“So, he needs to go back to the drawing board and ask what and what has not been done and what has been done.”