From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Executive Council has considered and approved the release of N78 billion for the completion of various ongoing projects across sectors and the flag-off of new ones.
The approval was given at its meeting that was presided over by Governor Nyesom Wike, at Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Isaac Kamalu, said the approval was made to ensure that ongoing projects are not left uncompleted by the contractors for lack of funds.
“The Rivers State Government has released the sum of N78 billion for payment of ongoing projects and flag off of new projects across all the local government areas in the state.
“Again, the government has specifically released the sum of N1.8 billion, representing 80 per cent of the capital provisions for the judiciary in the 2022 budget for the services of the Rivers State Judiciary.”
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike, said the Ministry of Health was not left out among ministries to benefit from the release of the funds.
According to him, the Dr Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Diagnostics and Treatment Centre which has been completed has the contractor fully paid.
“You remember in June last year, (2021) N26 billion was earmarked for that contract. It’s been completed, and well furnished with the most modern medical equipment for the attack of different types of cancers.
“And the other thing that the health sector benefitted is the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital where we have Basic Clinical Faculty and the Clinical Faculty as well as the Renal and Dialysis Centre and the House Officers Quarters which have also been completed and will be commissioned.”
Prof Chike also said there are other ongoing projects being funded by the state government, including the Kelsey Harrison Hospital which is at an advanced stage as well as the Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital in Port Harcourt, all of which are also at advanced stages of completion.
On his part, the Commissioner for Special Projects, Deinma Iyalla, said the ministry has its memo presented to the Council approved and also ratified the sale of the remodelled Riv-Bank insurance building.
“Currently, the building is known as Senator John Azuta-Mbata House. Access Bank offered to buy the building for the sum of N3.8 billion. It cost us N2.8 billion to remodel it.
“The essence of the sale of this building, Access Bank promised that they are going to use it as their regional office, which means they will create employment and impact positively on economic activities within Port Harcourt.”
Iyalla also listed other projects to benefit from the released fund to include the sand-filling and reclamation of 20 hectares of land in Ogu town.
According to him, the fund will also serve for the completion of the University of Port Harcourt Convocation Arena, Ataba Secondary School reconstruction and furnishing, Rivers State University Staff Quarters buildings at Ahoada, Etche, Emohua and the main campuses.
Other projects are the completion of 13.8 km Rumuodogo 1 and 2 Roads, Woji-Aleto-Alesa-Refinery Road, Hostel And B and the auditorium at Yanagoa campus of the Nigerian Law School, Justice Mary Odili Judicial Institute, Federal Judicial Service Commission liaison office building, South-South in Port Harcourt.
The Commissioner of Education, Prof. Chinedu Mmom, also addressed journalists, saying that projects under his ministry will also benefit.
They included the Government Secondary School, Eneka, Government Secondary School, Emohua, and the Government Secondary School, Imago in Abua/Odual Local Government.
Other projects included, the reconstruction and remodelling of the Kalabari High School, Buguma, Kalabari National College, (KNC) Buguma, the external works and furnishing of Western Ahoada High School, Government Secondary School, Ogun which is 90 per cent complete, and the Community Secondary School, Okoronudo that is 60 per cent complete.
On his part, the Commissioner for Works, Dr George-Kelly Dakorinama Alabo, said the council awarded new contracts and approved payment for ongoing projects.
“The projects spread across Local Government Areas and senatorial districts of the State. Some of which was approved today by the council and some were ratified.”
He said the council approved the contract for the construction of 8.168 km Abua-Emoh-Iyak-Ighom; Emoh/Egbolom access road and the 9.2m km Ekagho-Ogboloma-Adada link road in Abua/Odual Local government area.
George-Kelly explained that some other new road projects include, the Alode-Onne road and Agbonchia-Ogale-Ebebu-East/West road, Alode internal roads in Eleme council; Eneka roundabout-IgboEtche link road in Obio-Akpor/Etche councils; Akpabu-Egbeda-Elele-Omoku link road; Akpabu-Odidi link road; Nkpor -Mgbuodohia link road; Elele internal roads; Elekahia internal roads among others.
The Commissioner of Works, who reinstated the resolve of the Wike administration not to abandon any project it started, further disclosed that the council has approved payment for the ongoing Ahoada-Omoku dualisation project; Omoku-Aligwu-Kirigeni road, Omoku-Egbema road, Okochiri internal roads, Ogoni-Andoni Unity road, Chokocho-Igbodo road, flyover 11 and 12, dualisation of Bori-Kono road and several others.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information, Chris Finebone, said governor Wike has approved the appointment of 7000 Justices of Peace to help ensure the prevalence of peace, law and order within their jurisdiction.
“I am pleased to inform you that the state governor has just approved the appointment of 7000 Justices of the Peace It has been an all-round approach to development for which our people will be eternally grateful to our hard-working governor,” he stated.
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