Claim by Governor Nyesom Wike that the Rivers government is spending N16 billion to build a law school is being challenged by an All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart in the state, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who is asking where did the governor arrive at such an amount.
Peterside, while saying he was not opposed to building such a facility, queried how the contract was awarded from the “breast pocket” of the governor without bidders nor provision in the state budget.
He wondered how such a huge amount of money was being expended without approval from the Rivers State House of Assembly, while also not following the due process in terms of advertisement and competitive quotation from interested contracting firms.
The immediate past director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) stated this in Port Harcourt.
Said he: “Rivers people may not yet understand the damage being done to the finances of the state government as many contracts have been awarded under Wike’s administration without following the due process.
“Rivers State has a public procurement law that clearly states how contracts should be advertised and awarded to successful bidders, we have not seen such in this administration. Contracts are just simply awarded from the breast pocket of the governor and to who he likes.”
The former works commissioner in Rivers State lambasted the governor for always condemning others over what he serially indulges in but is always quick to call names in a veiled attempt to portray himself as a saint.
According to him, “Under what law did the governor award the contract from his private residence? Who evaluated the bill of quantities and how do you account for N5 billion set aside for miscellaneous? Under what law are 50-70 percent advance payments made?
“I know that the governor’s usual attack dogs will respond without first thinking of the future of Rivers generations and governance where one man single-handedly awards contracts without laid down procedures.
“Rivers people do not even have access to the state’s budget, hence do not know how many more contracts have been awarded without budgetary provisions and in accordance with laid down procurement law as enacted by the House of Assembly.
“In due season, we shall demand how the governor has spent our collective wealth and shall account for every money that he has fritted away in a veiled attempt to hoodwink Rivers people.”
Peterside, who is also a former House of Reps member expressed concerns over the inability of the Wike-led administration to create jobs for teeming Rivers youth since he became governor in 2015.
“Governance is beyond brick and mortar, it is beyond the award of contracts, it is deliberate and measured, aimed at touching key sectors and giving the youth the platform to excel but the governor is sadly bereft of such ideas,” he summed up.
Dakuku Peterside Media Team
November 3, 2021