We Are Rebuilding Rivers State, Not Like The FG’s Transformation Agenda – Gov. Amaechi
Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has stated in clear terms that his administration is rebuilding the state’s infrastructure to compliment the development efforts of its founding fathers and not the transformation agenda of the Federal Government.
Amaechi spoke, Monday, when participants of the Senior Executive Course member 35 from the Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt as part of their tour and analysis of the nation’s transformation agenda. Amaechi said the transformation agenda could be implemented by the next administration after his tenure as he is focused on rebuilding.
“We are not doing transformation; we are only going back to where our parents left us first before we can commence transformation. There is nothing we are doing now that King Diette-Spiff did not do, but they have all deteriorated. So we are going back to where King Diette-Spiff left the state, and hope that, whoever takes over from us can then transform. So here, we are not transforming, we only get back to where Spiff left us. He built over 200 Secondary schools and Primary schools. We even had fish farms but they have all been vandalized and the land taken over by communities. So there is nothing new. The only thing that is new is the quality and the type of roads that we are building and the monorail project. We have a target of January, 2014 to complete the monorail that will be the first in Africa. Now it is 3km and if we have N72 billion we will extend it to 7kms,” Amaechi said.
The governor spoke of his administration’s vision and efforts in education, health, welfare and other sectors.
“The Model Secondary schools, like the Model Primary schools are ICT compliant. An Indian Company has taken over the sustainability of the project, but government is still negotiating with the due process to provide one child with one tablet.”
“We promised our people 160 Health Centres, we have completed 120, the remaining 40 health centres are under construction. We have hired 400 doctors and making efforts to hire another 200 this year,” Amaechi said.
The governor also said the wage bill of workers has increased from N2.5 billion to N8.9 billion due to the inclusion of salary bill of primary school teachers, a responsibility undertaken by the local government councils before he assumed office.
He assured that his administration will make good its promise of ensuring 24 hours steady power supply.
“We believe that by the time all the power stations have been completed, we should be able to have 715 megawatts. So, for the next four to five years, whoever becomes the next governor will not concentrate in building new infrastructure. By the time we stabilize power, you will have what we call suppress demand, it will rise and you will have people move over to start business. But the federal government have refused to allow us distribute power. We are the only state that has built 26 sub-stations. That is the only way we have given power to people’s homes. In the next few months, we should be able to have regular power supply in Port Harcourt,” Amaechi said.
On roads, Amaechi said, his administration has built internal drainage system which has made the construction project expensive, adding that some of the welfare facilities to be provided at the Greater Port Harcourt City have underground networks.
Speaking of more projects, he said, “You will see our new Sports City and the facilities. The only thing that is outstanding is the installation of the seats. I have insisted that they should fix the kind of seats at the Olympic Stadium in Britain. We have paid the contractor and he should complete the project. We are also embarking on the installation of water.”
“Employment is one of the reasons behind crime. So if you don’t generate employment, the rich will not sleep. And we believe that the easiest way to generate employment is through Agriculture, because you are dealing with two categories and that is the skilled and unskilled manpower. We have the Buguma Fish Farm; one is in Andoni, another at Ubima, then Opobo, while one will also be sited in Okrika. You will see the Songhai Farm, the Banana plantation in Tai Local Government; and we have revived the Risonpalm of 16,000 hectares of land,” Amaechi said.
Earlier, leader of the delegation and representative of the Director-General of NIPSS, Prof. Ibrahim Mohammed Jumare, said the purpose of the visit is to undertake a study tour on strengthening institutional framework and the transformational agenda in the country.
He said, participants will visit other states in the Southern part of the country including, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Ekiti and Oyo States, and will also have an interactive session with various tiers of government on issues of the transformation agenda of the federal government.
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