Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has said that the Federal Government accidentally fosters corruption by allocating small quantities of money to projects in its annual budget rather than the full amount necessary to finish them within the specified time frame.
On Saturday in Port Harcourt, the governor made the statement while speaking at the inauguration of the GRA Junction Flyover project, which was done by Mike Ozekhome, SAN.
He claims that this method fosters project value variance, lengthens the time required to finish projects, and, most importantly, leads to project 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 argues that in such cases, inflation affects the contract value, and there’s a chance that the things may be adjusted, which leads to corruption.
He stated that such a culture was not promoted in Rivers State under his administration and that there was no need for him to spend four years on a project, for example.
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 declared that the days of politicians using excuses to hide their lack of leadership ability were finished.
He claimed that no government has been able to match what he has accomplished in the state in terms of project infrastructure in six years, including the completion of five flyover bridges, with four more under construction and one set to be granted.
Wike went on to say that the high-quality projects that have been completed in the state are enough to convince the voters to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party in the next elections.
Governor Wike, according to Ozekhome, has proven openness and accountability in the administration of Rivers State’s resources via the completion of several infrastructural projects.
“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.