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2nd Anniversary of Second Term: Governor Wike Launches Plethora of Projects



By Michael Effiong

In many states in Nigeria, Chief Executives begin to wind down after their first four years, but not Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

He is determined to work till 000 hours of his administration which is reason he has laid out an ambitious and tasking schedule, spanning three months to launch a plethora of projects to mark the second anniversary of his second term.

For some, his sobriquet Mr. Projects would have been enough for him to rest on his oars but Wike ‘s strength and success are rooted in his hand’s on leadership style, his fierce commitment to grassroots development, never-give-up spirit and herculean work ethic which is resonating now more than ever especially in Nigeria of today that many insist is in a state of inertia.

From roads to healthcare, education, agriculture to industries, the projects for launch are not only diverse but also spread across the three Senatorial Districts of the state. Truth be told, Governor Wike is truly working-and the evidence is there for even his fiercest critics to see.

Little wonder that the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele during his speech just a few days ago urged Governors of other states to emulate Governor Wike by investing in projects that will boost the economy and create job opportunities for youths and the community.

Governor Wike epitomises the saying that leadership is not what is easy but what is right. His courageous and purposeful style shows in the kind of audacious projects he has embarked on since he took over the mantle of leadership.

For this second anniversary of his second term which kicked off on May 27, 2021, the projects listed for launch include: Commissioning of River State Cassava Plant, flag-off of  Bori-Kono Road (Phase Two), Flag-off of Aluu-Omagwa Road,  Flag off of Emohua Campus of Rivers State University, Flag off of Etche Campus of River State University, flag off of Ahoada-Omoku Road, Commissioning of National Industrial Court Judges Quarters, Flag Off of  projects at Nigerian Law School , Yenogoa, Bayelsa State,  Commissioning of Rivers State University Senate Building, Foundation laying ceremony of College of Medical Sciences Building, Rivers State University, signing of agreement and flag off of Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, Commissioning of Mother & Child Hospital, Flag off of Government Secondary, Kpor, Gokana, Flag off of Ogbunabali/Eastern Bye-Pass Road,  Foundation laying ceremony of Haemodialysis and Renal Centre at RSUTH and flag off of Ogbakiri internal roads.

Governor Wike epitomises the saying that leadership is not what is easy but what is right. His courageous and purposeful style shows in the kind of audacious projects he has embarked on since he took over the mantle of leadership.

Others are: Flag off of Rumuepirikom Flyover, commissioning of Odufor-Umuoye Road, Commissioning of Isiah Odoli/Omerelu Street, Commissioning of Herbert Macaulay and Nzimiro Streets, Commissioning of Trans-Kalabari Road, Commissioning of Community Secondary School, Obiagu, Oyigbo, flag off of Omerelu Internal Road, Commissioning of Community Secondary School, Eteo, Commissioning of Omueze-Umuogberi-Eberi Road, Flag off of Abonema/Obonom Sandfill, Commissioning of Pabod Breweries and Oginigba Roads, Flag off of Mgbuitanwo Road, Flag off of Woji-Aleto-Alesa Road, Commissioning of Rumuigbo and other old GRA RoadsCommissioning of William Jumbo/ Ernest Ikoli Street, Eleme and other adjoining streets, Flag off of Okrika Sand-fill, Flag off of Okochiri Internal Roads, Commissioning of Opobo/Nkoro Road, Commissioning of NURSS Secretariat, Foundation laying ceremony of University of Port Harcourt Convocation Arena and Flag off of reconstruction of Government House Jetty.

Interestingly it is after he has done all these that Governor will deem it fit to give his account of stewardship and will affirm that indeed Rivers State is moving in the right direction as he promised when he took the oath of office after a resounding victory at the polls.

On that auspicious occasion he said: “For us, in all things it is Rivers State first; Rivers State is the measure; Rivers State before others. This is the essence of the political mandate and burden that we will bear for the next four years and we will not disappoint you.

“We will continue to stand up for Rivers State and defend her interest, no matter the challenges or what comes at us”.

The Governor  said that his Administration is not in opposition to the Federal Government, calling for  partnership to move Rivers State and Nigeria forward.

He said: ” But we are not a conquered people and we will never surrender our freedoms to any body or entity, whether internal or external.
We will therefore not accept to be subjugated to a headmaster and pupil power relationship; neither will we abandon the collective interest of Rivers State for the sake of political expediency.

“We are for the rule of law, democracy and mutual respect as autonomous State entities and co-building blocks of the Nigerian federation”.

The Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele during his speech just a few days ago urged Governors of other states to emulate Governor Wike by investing in projects that will boost the economy and create job opportunities for youths and the community.

Governor Wike thanked the good people of Rivers State, especially the voters, for their  trust and support  that led to the mandate to serve the state for another  four years.

He thanked leaders of the state, political leaders,  Traditional Rulers,  the clergy, women and youth groups for their unwavering support.

He said: “For us, everyone counts and we must not allow ourselves to be divided between upland and riverine considerations but strive for common grounds, solidarity and work together towards achieving our common goals and aspirations.

“Our refrain at this time, and especially in the face of the social and economic uncertainties in our nation, should be: ask what you can do for Rivers State instead of what Rivers State can do for you.

“The future of our State depends on us. It is up to us to renew, re-energize, and advance the Rivers dream, to fight for what belongs to us, and to defend our right to exist in freedom, security and peace in our own nation. And if we do cooperate, think and act among ourselves with tenacity and unity of strength, purpose and commitment, then there is no mountain we cannot level; no river we cannot cross, and no goal we set for ourselves that we cannot achieve.”

Outlining  the direction of his administration for the next four years , Governor Wike pledged to consolidate on his first term achievements and make Rivers State, the greatest state in  the country.

He said: “Our economy is great but it should be greater and made more beneficial to all. And so we will continue to grow our economy, expand our tax base, provide a friendly business environment and attract foreign and local investments to create more jobs and empower our people.

“We will continue on the economic trajectory of fiscal discipline, prudence, prioritization of capital projects over recurrent and giving value for money spent in the delivery of services.

“We know we are developing, but it’s better and more result-oriented if approached in an organized and strategic form.We will therefore adopt a holistic approach to development by partnering with relevant national and international agencies and expertise to initiate and implement a 25-years Marshall Plan for economic transformation and development to guide and accelerate the future development of our State”.

Governor Wike spelt out key areas that will will witness remarkable improvements under his leadership during his second term.

He said that the administration in his second term will continue with the provision of quality road network,  bridges and  prioritize the development of more social amenities, schools, health facilities, water and sanitation, electricity, land reclamation and preservation of natural resources.

For some, his sobriquet Mr. Projects would have been enough for him to rest on his oars but Wike ‘s strength and success are rooted in his hand’s on leadership style, his fierce commitment to grassroots development, never-give-up spirit and herculean work ethic

“For too long, we have relied mostly on a single vanishing revenue source to fund our development. The reality is that we cannot continue in this economic folly lest we remain forever vulnerable to the ripples, uncertainties and miseries of the mono-product based national economy. Apart from oil and gas, Rivers State also has a vast agricultural potential, which has remained largely untapped for decades.

“For us therefore, it is about time we embraced the green revolution as a strategic measure for achieving economic diversification, job creation and food security for the State and our people, and we are just ready to do that.

Our role in this regard will span from granting interest free loans to providing training, land preparation and logistical support to our willing youths to invest in commercial agriculture and allied businesses”, he said.

Governor Wike particularly announced that his administration will construct fly over bridges at Rumuokoro,  Garrison and Artillery in Port Harcourt.

Governor Wike assured that youth development will take centre stage during his second term.

He said: “We’ve got good news for all our youths this time around as we will dedicate much of the next four years to Youth Development by tackling the challenges that continue to keep you behind. As a starting point, we’ve resolved to give our youths some significant positions in our government and provide viable economic opportunities to spark hopes of a better future in their eyes.

“Let me also assure you that those who need education will get quality one; those who want life-skills will be trained; those who want to do business will continue to get our interest free loans; and those who have sporting talents will have quality sporting facilities and encouragement from us; and for those interested in making a career out of football, we have provided the Real Madrid Academy to prepare you for life-transforming professional footballing careers at home and abroad.

He began the second anniversary of the second term project’s launch with the commissioning of the River State Cassava Plant where he had Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono as Special Guests.

Truth be told, Governor Wike is truly working, and the evidence is there for even his fiercest critics to see

The Processing Plant located in Afam, Oyigbo Local Government was initiated and abandoned by the last administration but Governor saw its potential and has now completed it.

In his speech at the occasion, the elated Gov. Wike said he was delighted that the hitherto abandoned project was now up and running and will create 150 direct jobs and impact 3,000 farmers whose produce will serve as raw materials for the plant.

To increase the impact of the facility on the community, he said government will offer seed capital to genuine persons who wish to enter the Cassava farming business.

He also hinted that though the state currently has 70% equity of the company, his vision is to sell its stake to the private sector to ensure sustainability of the enterprise.

In his speech, Mr Emefiele commended Rivers State and said this project was in line with President Buhari’s vision for the economy.

He revealed that a N1.5 billion fund was available for any investor interested in the food industry to access.

Mr. Igo Weli, who represented, Mr Osagie Okunbor, the Managing Director of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria was full of praise for Governor Wike.

Mr Okunbor noted “I join the good people of Rivers State to commend you for your untiring effort to advance the economic fortunes of the state, even in the face of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“Experts have said that the local value addition to cassava and processing could potentially unlock about $16m in taxes to the government.

“It is in recognition of this and the far reaching impact for the good people of Rivers State that Shell decided to make the social investment”

“Today, we have the Rivers Cassava Processing Company Limited that will process Cassava into high quality Cassava flour via a unique split processing technology”

There were also speeches by Kola Adesina ( Sahara Energy)a and Tony Attah ( NLNG). They both urged corporate organisations to see the Afam Community as a hub for new businesses since power was constantly available.

Mr. Ruben Giesen, MD of the company disclosed that the plant would produce about 45,000metric tons of cassava flour daily, while it would need 12,000metric tons of cassava tubers.

Minister Nanono   said he was impressed with the quality of Gov. Wike’s leaderhip as exemplified by the project. As his support, he said the Ministry will  provide 10,000 high-grade seedlings for farmers linked to the project.

After his speech, the Minister officially cut the tape to the delight of all present and joined by other dignitaries, toured the impressive facility.

The next port of call was the flag off of the construction of the Bori-Kono Road (Phase Two) located in the heart of Ogoniland.

In deed, Governor with the flag off, made good his promise to the Ogoni people who had suffered for many years with poor road network.

Governor Wike who was honoured with a traditional title of Mene Kwalemu 1 of Ogoniland on account of his development projects in the area, performed the flag off with the assistance of Senator Lee Maeba.

Giving a background of the project, Hon. Elloka Tasie Amadi, the Commissioner of Works stated that upon completion, the road will be a 17.2km long , 22.3m wide dual carriageway.

“Each lane will be 10.65m wide separated by a 2m wide concrete median. It will have 2 bridges , 570 Streetlight poles,.1140 streetlight fittings, 6  stations to power the lights and approximately 5km of drainage.

Gov. Wike said he was delighted that the hitherto abandoned Cassava Plant was now up and running and will create 150 direct jobs and impact 3,000 farmers whose produce will serve as raw materials for the plant.

He noted that to guarantee timely, uninterrupted completion of this project within 14 months as desired by Governor Wike, the project is funded and backed by an ISPO which means that contract payments are automatically charged against the states accounts every month on a set date and  paid directly to the contractor.

In his speech, Governor Wike said he was delighted to be back to Ogoniland to make good his promise of completing this road which he said would not only open up the area but will boost its economy.

He urged the Contractors to work under the rain and sunshine to ensure that the project is completed and delivered on time.

Special Guest at the occasion was ason of the soil, Senator Lee Maeba who thanked Governor Wike for his immense love for the Ogoni people.

According to him ” marginalisation of the Ogonis by previous administrations have come to an end. You promised that the Ogonis will not play second fiddle again, and you have made good that promise. We the Ogonis are happy with you”.

Senator Maeba stated further “The real celebration will not happen today, it will be the day this road is concluded at Kono Waterside”.

After his moving speech, Senator Maeba, Governor Wike, traditional rulers, respected sons of Ogoniland including activist Ledum Mitee then flagged off the new road to wondrous applause by the hundreds of indigenes who had stormed the venue.

Governor Wike has promised that he would not only complete all projects he embarks upon, but he will pay for them in full and not leave any debt for his successor.

From the evidence of his performance so far, there is no shadow of doubt that Rivers is on the rise.

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Tinubu Presents N27.5tr 2024 budget to NASS, Seeks Speedy Passage




President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, presented the Appropriation Bill of the Federal government for the year 2024 tagged ‘Budget of Renewed Hope’ to a joint session of the National Assembly.

This is the president’s first budget presentation to the National Assembly since assuming office on May 29.

The President arrived at the National Assembly for the presentation of the 2024 budget at about 11:09 am accompanied some ministers and aides. and senior officials.

He was led into the chamber of the House of Representatives for the presentation of the N27.5trillion Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly which began after the rendition of the National Anthem and opening prayers.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC)on Monday approved N27.5 trillion as the 2024 budget estimate.

It will be recalled that Tinubu had about three weeks ago forwarded the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper ( FSP), proposing an expenditure of N26.1 for the 2024 fiscal year.

After two weeks of deliberations and interface with heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies on the revenue and expenditure projections, the Senate through its Committee on Finance approved the MTEF.

It specifically approved the N26.1 trillion proposed as 2024 budget and other parameters proposed by Tinubu.

It also approved new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, while pegging the oil price benchmark for 2024 at $73.96 and oil production at 1.78 million barrels per day.

Other parameters approved are GDP growth rate of 3.76 per cent, the inflation rate of 21.40 per cent, a suggested benchmark exchange rate of N700 to $1 and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.

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Emefiele Yet to Meet Bail Conditions, May Stay in Prison Till 2024




A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, has adjourned an alleged procurement fraud case involving a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

The court adjourned the trial of the former apex bank chief to January 18 and 19, 2024 for continuation of trial.

Emefiele is standing trial on a six count amended charge on alleged procurement of vehicles to the tune of N1.6billion.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He was granted bail on November 17, 2023 to the tune of N300million and two sureties, but remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre, pending when he meets his bail conditions.

At the resumed hearing, the prosecution witness, who is a top official of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) told the court that the Emefiele is not the owner or a shareholder of the April1616 Investment Limited awarded N1.2 billion vehicle supply contract by CBN under his watch.

He was led in evidence by counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo , while tendering several documents on how the company was incorporated on August 1, 2016.

He further read out the names of the shareholders of the company as Aminu Yaro, Maryam Abdullahi and Saadatu Yaro as joint owners of the entity.

Emefiele’s lawyer, Mathew Burkaa, who declined to speak on camera, said Emefiele is yet to meet his bail conditions.

Counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Federal government declined to speak on the day’s proceedings.

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One Year in Office: Adeleke Gives Scorecard, Pledges Continuous Democracy Dividends




By Eric Elezuo

The Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, has felicitated with the people of Osun State as his administration marks one in office.

In the statement he personally signed, the governor informed that the last one year has been characterized by reconstruction and reconfiguration of various of the state’s economy, adding that the administration has been able to navigate through “numerous land mines deliberately set by the past administration to frustrate our administration” to provide appropriate leadership and benefits for the people of Osun state.

Adeleke further intimated that he is on a working visit to Europe and Asia, where he hope to attract investment opportunities foe the state.

The governor highlighted stability of the civil service, improved intercity road networks, surgical and medical outreaches as well as the #Imole100BInfrastructure as some of the laudable achievements of his administration in the last one year.

Below is the detailed statement:

It is one year ago today since our administration came into office. It has been a year of reconstruction and reconfiguration across the various sectors of the osun economy.

Due to the current economic situation in the state and our country in general, I have directed that this anniversary be conducted in a low key atmosphere. I remain committed to prudent use of our scarce resources on more pressing issues.

I am currently on a working vacation to Europe and Asia where I am advancing partnership discussion with potential investors needed to improve our state economy.

It is important to recognize the enormous challenges and obstacles we have overcome and the progress we have made thus far. Despite the numerous land mines deliberately set by the past administration to frustrate our administration, we have developed a robust mechanism to successfully navigate and overcome these challenges.

We have stabilized the state civil service with continuous commitment to the welfare of the state civil servants and pensioners, this we will continue to focus on in fulfillment of a critical part of our 5 point agenda.

We have massively improved intracity road network across the state by constructing over 90KM of roads, completion of the Phase II of Òṣogbo-Ikirun road and ongoing construction of Osun ring road (Ona Baba Ona) both abandoned by the past administration.

We have embarked on surgical and medical outreach that benefited over 50,000 vulnerable citizens. Also, we have completely rehabilitated over 31 schools across the state.

Recently, I launched the #Imole100BInfrastructure that focuses on education, health, road construction and water. These are critical sectors that we have identified to urgently revamp for the sustainability and development of the state economy.

I am happy to share that as we move forward, the positive results of our collaborative efforts for the past one year are expected to bear fruit. With projected increase in our internally generated revenue and prudent application of public funds, our infrastructure plan will be fully funded without seeking external loan.

Today, I re-affirm my commitment to serving with the fear of God and focused on delivering on my 5 point agenda as promised during the campaign season.

I thank you for your continuous support and prayer as you continue to support our efforts to develop our dear state.

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