NEWS UPDATES 12/12/2021
How FG’s Budgetary Allocations Promote Corruption — Wike
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has said the Federal Government, inadvertently, promotes corruption whenever it allows paltry sums of money, in its yearly budget for a project, instead of the entire money required to complete such projects within the agreed time.
The governor made the observation while speaking at the inauguration of the GRA Junction Flyover project performed by Mike Ozekhome, SAN, on Saturday in Port Harcourt.
He said such practice encourages variation of the value of the projects, elongates the time specified to complete such projects, and most often, leads to abandonment.
“You know, I don’t like the word variation. It is not in my dictionary. That is where you see corruption. That is why when you see the federal government budget; how can you award a job of N60 billion, then in the budget of the year, you put N2 billion.
“What kind of contract is that? Why will there not be variation. That job will last in the next ten years and that is the problem we have in our contract execution,” Wike stated.
He explains that in such situations, the contract value becomes affected by inflation and there is a likelihood of adjustment of the items, which eventually breeds corruption.
He pointed out that such culture was not encouraged in Rivers State under his administration and there is no rationale for him to spend four years, for example doing a particular project.
The governor added, “Now if you’re putting N2 billion each year, that means in ten years time, it’s N20 billion. So you cannot finish the project in 20 years. And then, looking at the inflation trend, every year, the contractor will put variation. Why?
“Because the price of things has gone up; so, they’ll put variation and at the end of the day, the job will not be N60 billion. It will go to N80 billion.
“But here, Julius Berger cannot tell us that because we have already given them 70 percent upfront. So, they cannot come and tell me variation, no. By giving you 70 percent, we expect you to work up to 80 or 90 percent.”
Governor Wike stated that days were gone when politicians give excuses to cover up their lack of leadership capacity.
He boasted that no administration can measure up to what he has done within six years in terms of project infrastructure in the state and the completion of five flyover bridges with four ongoing and one about to be awarded.
Speaking further, Wike asserted that the quality projects executed in the state are sufficient testament to the electorate in the state to continue to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party when the elections come.
Performing the project inauguration, Ozekhome, said Governor Wike has through the execution of numerous infrastructural projects, demonstrated transparency and accountability in the management of the resources of Rivers State
“He has shown that it is not enough for a governor to get his monthly allocation from the revenue account under Section 162 of the constitution but without showing evidence of what you are using that money for,” he stated.