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I inherited huge debt from Wike, says Fubara

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Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has revealed that a huge debt burden was left behind for his administration.

The governor took over from Nyesom Wike, incumbent Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on May 29, 2023.

Speaking at Ebubu community, the venue of the inauguration of the reconstructed 10.89KM Aleto-Ogale-Ebubu-Eteo Road in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, on Tuesday, Fubara said several contractors who handled different projects for Wike’s administration have been running to him for completion funds.

The governor emphasized the debt owed contractors amounted to billion despite the impression created that a clean balance sheet was maintained with contractors.

He said, “This is to let the world know that if there is one problem this administration has, it is the huge debt burden. Most of the projects that are being commissioned, the contractors are coming for their balance-payment and it is running into billions.”

“I have said that I don’t want to talk. I didn’t want to talk because I was part of that system. But, when you keep pushing me to talk, I will say it so that the people will know the true situation of things and be properly informed.”

Fubara expressed delight over the commencement of the celebration of his one year in office, going down memory lane to recall how he lived in Eleme when he started off his career.

The governor stated that the road was awarded on August 14, 2023, to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) at the cost of N6.7billion.

He said that completed project now serves as a proof that his administration is still focused on delivering development to the people despite the many troubles thrown at it.

“I am happy to be here and to join the good people of Rivers State to start this wonderful celebration of our first anniversary in the face of all the troubles. It shows that we are still focused, not minding the level of distractions.

“This road was awarded to CCECC as a contractor. It was awarded on the 14th of August, 2023. I believe that the 14th of August was within my tenure. I am not saying ‘I’, but it was this administration that awarded it.

“This project was awarded at the cost of N6.7 billion, and I can say boldly that no kobo is remaining. We’ve paid the contractor its complete sum. Our gathering here is to tell our people that their problem is our problem.”

Emphasizing the significance of the road, Governor Fubara said it is a bypass to be used by motorists to avoid the deplorable sections of the East-West Road now under reconstruction, and by extension, support to the Federal Government’s efforts to give hope to Nigerians and make life better for the people.

Governor Fubara said: “What we are doing today, is it not help to the Federal Government? Is it not a show that this Government has the interest of the people at heart and it is supporting and doing everything to make the Federal Government succeed?

“So, when people come out and say some funny things, I laugh. Why are we doing this? When this administration came on board, Mr President christened his mantra ‘Renewed Hope’ to give Nigerians hope.

“What we are doing today in this State is giving our people that hope to complement what Mr President is doing at the national level.

“It is not about social media. We are talking about action. Genuine actions that make positive impact in the lives of our people,” he said.

Governor Fubara explained the rationale behind the invitation extended to Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, to inaugurate the project, saying he is not an artificial integrity man but a pragmatic man.

Sir Fubara stated: “I invited him because he is not an artificial integrity man. He is an action-integrity man. He is not like the one who would gather to talk because they just want to talk.

“He is a man who came into office, in the face of difficulties and challenges, just like we are here, but he is making an impact in the lives of Abians. So, I will continue to identify with good governance. I will continue to identify with people who want to make an impact in the lives of the people. Our Government, as we promised you on day one: the people first.”

Governor Fubara alluded to an unnamed person who insinuated that on the assumption of office, he started a fight against the Federal Government, and wondered about the veracity of such an allegation.

“We are talking about the Federal Government that is giving us support, and we appreciate their support. But there is a rat in the house that is eating the bags of garri. So, you can imagine such a situation.”

Performing the inauguration of the project, the Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, congratulated Governor Fubara for what he has done in remembering to execute a road project in the Eleme community where he had once lived.

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