THE Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the state was expecting the Federal Government to release its full monthly allocations.
Amaechi, who lamented that the state was losing revenue because some of its oil wells were transferred to neighbouring states, pointed out that the financial picture across the state was gloomy.
The governor spoke on Tuesday while inspecting ongoing work on Elioparanwo and Ogbogoro Roads in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
He decried the dwindling Federal Government allocations to the state and attributed the decrease in monthly allocations across the country to corruption in the oil sector.
“The problem is the Federal Government; they have cut off the resources of Rivers State Government and Rivers people. They have taken away the oil wells in Soku and given to Bayelsa.
“They have taken the ones between Oyigbo and Etche and given to Abia. So, our resources continue to dwindle. We used to do N19bn, N20 billion, now, we are doing 13 (billion naira).
“Last month was fifteen; we don’t know how much we will do this month. We pray that it improves. That’s one; then two is the fact that the level of stealing in the oil sector is affecting the revenue in all the states. So, we don’t have enough,” he said.
Amaechi, however, explained that he was under an obligation to use state funds to deliver on the provision of infrastructure and added that it was also his responsibility to ensure the safety of lives and property in the state.
“I’m paid to do this job. I’m employed by the Rivers people. So, I’m bound to deliver. The responsibility of a governor is to deliver on infrastructure, the lives and well-being of the citizens and ensure that they have security.
“You can’t have government money in your kitty and not be able to utilize it. You must deploy it to the development of the people. It’s about priority; what you choose to do,” he said.
Amaechi appealed to the contractor at the site to ensure that the 3.25 kilometre Elioparanwo Road was completed before the rainy season.
The governor urged the people to identify with the ruling All Progressives Congress in the state, describing the APC as the vehicle for change in the state and country.
He said, “The people of APC are progressives. APC is progressive. All of us are progressives. So, you can’t like me and not like APC. Yes, they may like me for who I am but they should also like APC for the fact that we bring change. I represent change and I think that the people should also like APC for being a vehicle for change.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers has called on Amaechi to convince the people with facts supporting his claims of saving N1 billion every month for the state.
A statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the state PDP chairman, Mr. Jerry Needam, challenged the state governor to provide details of the monthly deposits and balance of such financial transaction or else, the party and the people would not to take such claim seriously.