Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has revealed why he took out a N30 billion loan.
He said that on assuming office he met an empty treasury, while there was a backlog of workers’ salaries and some abandoned projects that needed to be completed.
Wike said on Friday, September 11, that it was very difficult for the state government to discharge its financial responsibility of paying civil servants and contractors while waiting for the next federation account, The Punch reports.
The governor said that the loan that his government took out was used for essential projects, and that could be verified. He said that there is a workable plan of repayment for the loan pointing out that overseas students’ allowances and unpaid pensions have been cleared by his administration.
He made these claims in a statement issued by his spokesman, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, while reacting to criticism from the All Progressives Congress, who had pointed out that the governor took N30 billion in loans in 30 days.
Wike said that if the previous administration had been prudent with state resources, there would not have been a need for the loan.
He said: “Rotimi Amaechi in one of his valedictory speeches admitted that the state is broke and he is bequeathing an empty treasury to Governor Wike.
“We inherited an empty treasury festered by huge pecuniary liabilities such as backlog of salaries, pensions, fees for students on scholarships and a plethora of other burning issues, including abandoned projects.
“Therefore, there is nothing wrong with the governor going for loans; the issue is not whether loans are taken, but the judicious application of such loans is what should be the issue.”
Wike stated that the APC is frightened by his achievements so far, which is why it is cooking up all these allegations.
In swift reaction, the APC state publicity secretary, Chris Finebone, said that what Wike is parading as an achievement is a plot that he wants to use to deceive the people of the state.
Meanwhile, Amaechi has challenged the state government to publish the statements of three banks accounts he left behind on May 29, 2015. He said he left N8 billion in these accounts but Wike’s administration has continued to paint him black to the public.