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Wike chides LG boss over construction of rural roads

Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike has chided the Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Area, Mr Benjamin Eke for requesting the state government to construct the road in Ward 10 in Ahoada East Local Government Area.

He said there was no basis for the request since the state government does not tamper with funds accruing to the local councils from the federation account.

Speaking on Thursday at the Odiemudie Junction by Akoh Mini Central where he flagged off the construction of Odiemudie Road in Ahoada East Local Government Area Wike said it was unconscionable for any local government chairman not to construct roads in the rural areas.

The Governor, who was Obio-Akpor Local Government chairman during the tenure of former governor Dr Peter Odili, described as absurd the demand by council chairmen for the state government intervention inroads that they can conveniently construct for their people.

He told Mr Eke that when he was chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government, he executed road projects without asking for assistance from the then-governor, Dr Peter Odili.

Wike said; “I was council chairman. People know in the state, I was constructing roads. I had never one day called the governor to come and do so and so thing. You have the temerity to stand before me to say, come and do the road in Ward 10.

“Thank God you said I don’t tamper with all local government money. I know how much you all get. Last two months, no local government got less than between N300 Million and N400 million. What’s the salary bill, where does the money go to.”

He directed the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs to go get a comprehensive list of projects that Mr Benjamin Eke, Chairman of Ahoada East Local government, claimed to have accomplished and submit same to the office of the Secretary to the State Government.

“Because I believe there should be development everywhere does not mean you will take it for granted. So, this is the last time I will go to any local government and I will see a chairman coming out to say do so, so thing for us. You must show me your report card”, Wike said.

The governor said his administration would continue to sustain the ongoing partnership with local contractors in the development of infrastructure in the state declaring that the local contractors awarded several road projects by his administration have not disappointed the expectation on them.

He maintained that they have rather shown capacity, delivered completed projects that met agreed specifications and handed over on schedule.

Wike declared; “I have the belief that the local contractors will continue to do their best. That is why we are encouraging them, and which is why they are performing.

“I’m happy that in our time, the few indigenous contractors we have now have shown capacity and commitment. If this goes on, then we will continue to partner with them because they are doing very well.”

The governor noted the claim made by the local contractor handling the Odiemudie Road to have engaged about one hundred youths on the project and said it is commendable.

He urged them to also offer subcontracts to the locals so that they can supply some ancillary materials that can be sourced within and around the community.

Governor Wike commended the Eze Logbo of Ekpeye Land, and the Eze Akoh for ensuring peace in the area, which has been reflected in the cooperation the contractor has enjoyed.

Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr George-Kelly Dakorinima Alabo said the Odiemudie Road was awarded two months ago and the contractor is expected to deliver the project on the 31st March 2023.

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