FastNews reports that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has stated that the Federal Government inadvertently promotes corruption by allowing paltry sums of money in its yearly budget for a project, rather than the entire amount required to complete such projects within the agreed time frame.
The governor made the remark while speaking at the inauguration of the GRA Junction Flyover project on Saturday in Port Harcourt, which was performed by Mike Ozekhome, SAN.
He claims that this practice encourages project value variation, lengthens the time required to complete such projects, and, most often, results in project abandonment.
“You know, I’m not a fan of the word variation. It does not appear in my dictionary. That is where you will find corruption. That is why, when you look at the federal government budget, you wonder how you can award a job worth N60 billion and then put N2 billion in the budget for the year.
“What kind of contract is that? Why will there not be a variation? That job will last in the next ten years and that is the problem we have in our contract execution,” Wike stated.
He explains that in such situations, the contract value becomes affected by inflation and there is a likelihood of adjustment of the items, which eventually breeds corruption.
He pointed out that such culture was not encouraged in Rivers State under his administration and there is no rationale for him to spend four years, for example doing a particular project.
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 stated that days were gone when politicians give excuses to cover up their lack of leadership capacity.
He boasted that no administration can measure up to what he has done within six years in terms of project infrastructure in the state and the completion of five flyover bridges with four ongoing and one about to be awarded.
Speaking further, Wike asserted that the quality projects executed in the state are sufficient testament to the electorate in the state to continue to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party when the elections come.
Performing the project inauguration, Ozekhome, said Governor Wike has through the execution of numerous infrastructural projects, demonstrated transparency and accountability in the management of the resources of Rivers State
“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.