The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Rivers State Chapter has urged the National Assembly and the Federal Government of Nigeria not to yield to Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s request for Loan for Water Supply in the state, alleging that the loan will be diverted to fund the activities of the All Progressives Congress (APC) instead of water supply.
“Considering the financial strength of Rivers State as one of the top beneficiaries from the Federation Account as well as the rising Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and the revelation by the Governor that he is saving one billion naira monthly, the state should not be crying for loans to provide drinking water to a point that Rivers people are threatened by water borne diseases”, the party said.
The party also believes that Amaechi has been in office for six years running and if he regarded water as a priority, he would have provided water in the state because he has been receiving enough funds to execute development projects in the state.
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the state PDP chairman, Jerry Needam, said the party is of the view that Governor Amaechi has borrowed more money than all the past governors of the state put together and in addition, if truly the Rivers State Government has improved in her internal revenue base as claimed, then the Governor has no justification to solicit for loan from external funding agencies for it to deliver development projects to the people of the state.
Also, the party raised eyebrows over the over one trillion naira loan facility accessed so far by the Amaechi administration from which projects on ground in the state do not show such funds to have been judiciously applied, noting that if the Governor has actually been saving N1billion monthly, the state ought to, in his six years on the saddle, have a reserve of N72bn, an amount that would not allow the state pant for loan to enhance service delivery.
The party further says it is aware that the State Government has in its budget allocated over N7bn to the Ministry of Water Resources yearly, demanding clarification on what this huge allocation is used for as all water taps in the State, have remained dry.
The Party notes that rather than actual investment and application of the funds in water resources in the state, the Governor is seen to have preferred financing phoney and white elephant projects with questionable contract values in Rivers State. These projects include, the Monorail, Justice Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital, Greater Port Harcourt City, Rainbow Housing Project, etc.
The PDP also regrets that the Governor has, rather than provide befitting development facilities and infrastructure for the State, sold out or leased important institutions and state owned ventures and assets for 30 to 50 years, to some officers and cronies in the name of Public Private Partnership. It listed some of the institutions to include Delta Hotels, Obi Wali Cultural Centre, Olympia Hotels, General Hospital, Port Harcourt, Njemanze Waterfront, Risonpalm etc.
Describing the Amaechi administration as the most fraudulent, irresponsible and wasteful, the PDP is also of the belief that if granted the loan facility in the name of water supply in the state, Governor Amaechi will further divert the fund into financing the activities of his new political fold, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and his Vice Presidential ambition.
The Party wonders what Governor Amaechi will be using the loan for when he has not given proper account of the monies he has received from internally generated revenue and the previous loan facilities he has accessed in the name of development of the state, saying understandably, Amaechi’s intention is to further impoverish and defraud the state of its resources and ensure that his successor inherits huge loan and other liabilities to settle on resumption of office.
“The Party therefore requests the federal government to disregard Governor Amaechi’s bid to obtain billions of naira in the form of loan from the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AFDB) under the false pretence of providing water projects in the state”, Mr Needam noted.