THE Rivers government has spent over N90 billion on the construction of critical roads in the last 17 months, Gov Nyesom Wike has said.
Mr Simeon Nwakaudu, the Special Assistant to Wike on Electronic Media, said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the governor made the disclosure while declaring open the West Africa Architects Fair (WAAF 2016) in Port Harcourt.
The governor also said that the infrastructure development programme of his administration had been insulated from political consideration for the attainment of positive results.
“We have spent over N90 billion on construction, rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads, bridges and jetties.
“This money has effectively delivered over 80 roads while work is ongoing on the construction of about 35 new roads, spread across the three senatorial districts of the state.
”Most importantly, in order to derive maximum value for money spent, we have insulated our infrastructure development and delivery master plan from political considerations by ensuring that the designing, construction and supervision of all our roads are handled by reputable professionals and construction companies.”
According to Wike, his administration has overcome the initial challenges of empty treasury, unpaid salaries, insecurity caused by closed courts and a weak economy.
”When we assumed office, we met a state that was at the lowest rung in all indices of development.
“Besides an empty treasury, we inherited months of unpaid salaries to civil servants and a totally broken infrastructure.
“The poor security situation was exacerbated by the prolonged closure of the courts for over 12 months, leading to unprecedented capital flight and disinvestments.
”However, 17 months after, we have recorded remarkable achievements in several areas of development.”
He said that his administration’s priority was to clear the backlog of salaries, fix broken roads and transport infrastructure and create jobs by reflating the economy.
“In all these, we have successfully delivered.
”For instance, apart from clearing the arrears of salaries, we are among the very few states with proven capacity to meet our financial obligations to civil servants, contractors and vendors.”
The governor lauded Nigerian Architects for their contributions to the development of the country.
He recalled that since his days as council chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area up to becoming the o Minister of State for Education and now governor, he had been collaborating with architects to deliver quality projects.
In his remarks, the President, Nigeria Institute of Architects, Mr Tonye Braide, said that members were working towards developing new cities that would help grow the economies of different countries.
NAN reports that WAAF 2016 is a gathering of architects and allied professionals from across the West Africa sub-region.