Rivers govt lacks transparency – Peterside

A former governorship aspirant and current Director General (DG) of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, has chided the Rivers State government for lack of accountability in the utilisation of the state’s funds and resources.

The NIMASA DG, who made the comment at a media roundtable with select journalists in Lagos yesterday, decried what he called an unfair reporting of the activities of Governor Nyesom Wike.
“He has not advertised any project and so we wonder how he engages contractors; no transparency and accountability,” Peterside said.
He said that a stocktaking of what the governor had accomplished with the financial inflow was a mismatch, pointing out that the state is ranked second in terms of federal allocation, internally generated revenue and the Paris Club refunds.
“River State is the number one state in unemployment according the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics because industries are leaving in droves for reasons of insecurity and multiple taxation,” he added.
Peterside, who said the performance of Rotimi Amaechi in the areas of healthcare, education, sport and road construction could not be denied, added that the greater highlights of what the Wike administration did could be linked to the previous government.
“We can say he completed roads that were started by Amaechi. But we cannot say anything he did to education and health,” he added.
Fielding questions on his political ambition, Peterside said he is still consulting and would make his position public very soon.
“Soon, there will be a transition, whether I offer myself or not, I will be involved and I will fully support the APC candidate.
“We should not encourage leaders who are not fair to the people and we must elevate the issues for discussion,” he said.
But in a swift reaction yesterday, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information, Barrister Emma Okah said Peterside’s criticism of Rivers State Governor was born out of the bitterness he harboured against him after  he lost 2015 governorship election.
Okah, who was reacting to Peterside’s allegation that Governor Wike’s administration lacked transparance and accountability, said all the projects being executed by the State government were carried out in consonance with the laid-down laws of the State.
He said that most of the projects being executed by the present administration was started by former governor Amaechi, adding that Governor Wike who inherited the projects used the same contractors engaged by Amaechi’s administration to execute  them.
On the allegation that the stock taking of what the governor had accomplished with financial inflow was a mismatch, Okah questioned what had come out of the money realized from the sale of power projects by Amaechi’s led administration in the State.