Whereabouts of the N78 billion refund to Rivers State by federal government has been generating concerns
OpenLife Nigeria has gathered that the whereabouts of the N 78 billion refunded by the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government to Rivers State has raised fundamental questions about transparency and accountability in governance.
Speculation has been rife over how governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State spent the whopping sum.
The speculation gained currency when there have been no new capital intensive projects embarked upon by the State in recent past.
It would be recalled that the federal government had approved the disbursement N78.9 billion as reimbursement for the amount spent on executing some federal road projects in the state, including Port Harcourt-Owerri road.
The approval for the refund was granted at the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Buhari on June 3, 2020.
“”I wish to on behalf of the government and people of Rivers State appreciate and most sincerely thank you for graciously approving the refund of the sum of N78.9 billion to Rivers State Government, as cost of the execution of federal government road projects in Rivers State,” Wike said.
As of the time Rivers State account was credited with the huge sum, Edo governorship election had picked up.
Nyesom Wike who played central role in the victory of governor Obaseki of Edo Stae was believed to have dipped his hands into the money to fund the Edo election, a development that sparked curiosity about the whereabouts of the fund..
But, almost a year after, governor Wike stated last week that he has not spent a kobo out of the money.
“I have not spent one kobo out of that money. The money is sleeping in the bank,” he disclosed.
The governor’s disclosure about the whereabouts of the fund may have sufficiently doused tension in the Garden City.
He however added that he will not leave office with any uncompleted project.
“All projects we started will be completed. My successor will have to start on a clean slate,” Wike stated.