By Simeon Nwakaudu
Rivers State is Nigeria's undisputed headquarters of projects.
It is the only state where the governor and top government officials are ever willing to showcase the outstanding projects shaping the lives of the people.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, is Nigeria's Best Performing Governor because of the quality of his signature projects and his determination to ensure that the resources of the people work for them.
Under the leadership of Governor Wike, the era of unbridled distribution of state resources to powerful individuals has been eliminated. The era of using state funds to appease private politicians across the country to remain relevant is no longer in vogue.
Salaries and pensions have been settled. The economy of the state has been revived and the regular construction of projects in all the senatorial districts of the state has empowered a large percentage of people ready to work.
In Rivers State, the delivery of quality projects is a case of seeing is believing. Visitors are taken to projects sites to see things for themselves. The showcasing of projects is not restricted to allies of the state government.
For two years, Governor Wike has been on the field working for the people. Everyday, contractors are funded to recreate the state.
For three days, March 22 to March 24, 2017, officials of the Federal Government under the National Economic Council Resolution Implementation Monitoring Committee were in Rivers State to inspect projects executed by the Wike administration.
The South-South Team covered the six South-South States. They were in the state to examine the projects being executed by Governor Wike since May 29, 2017.
The three days the team spent in Rivers State took them to 48 projects spread across the three senatorial districts of the state. They were received by Governor Wike who briefed the team in his office before handing over to a team of commissioners, special advisers who took them to projects impacting positively on the people.
Projects implemented by the team on a senatorial district basis include:
RIVERS SOUTH-EAST SENATORIAL DISTRICT
1. Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road
2. Zonal Hospital, Bori, Khana LGA
3. Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori
4. Sakpenwa-Bori Road
5. General Hospital, Bodo City
6. General Hospital, Nchia – Eleme
7. Kpopie-Bodo Road
RIVERS EAST SENATORIAL DISTRICT
8. Government Secondary School, Ogu
9. Zonal Hospital, Okrika
10. Okrika Jetty
11. Ecumenical Centre
12. Federal High Court
13. Magistrate Court building
14. NBA Law Centre
15. Appeal Court Complex
16. Civic Centre
17. Borokiri Road Network
18. Ogbunabali Road Network
19. Dredging and Reclamation work at Ogbunabili/Nkpogu Location
20. Nkpogu Bridge
21. Trans-Amadi Road
22. Woji Akpajo Bridge
23. Slaughter Road
24. Pleasure Park
25. Abacha Road
26. Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta
27. Emohua General Hospital
28. Tam-David West Road
29. Rumuokoro Market and Bus Park, Port Harcourt
30. Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Rumigbo
31. Eneka Road Network
32. Igwuruta-Chokocho road
33. Igbo-Etche road
34. Chokocho-Umuechiem-Ozubu-Elele road
35. Ulakwo II-Afara-Nihi road
36. Zonal General Hospital, Okehi – Etche
37. Airport-Ipo-Omademe Road
38. Omuvu Internal Road
39. General Hospital, Isiokpo
RIVERS WEST SENATORIAL DISTRICT
40. General Hospital, Ahoada
41. Reconstruction of Edeoha-Ikata-Ochigba road, Ahoada-East LGA
42. General Hospital, Abua
43. General Hospital, Abonnema
44. General Hospital, Buguma
45. Zonal Hospital, Degema
46. General Hospital Omoku
47. Nyemoni Grammar School, Abonnema
48. Abonnema Ring Road.
At the respective project sites, the members of the the National Economic Council Resolution Implementation Monitoring Committee received briefing on the philosophy behind the projects, the progress of work, its relevance to the benefiting communities and the multiplier effect of the projects to the welfare of the people
Speaking at the Sakpenwa-Bori Road that connects Eleme, Tai, Gokana and Khana to Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom States, Rivers State Commissioner of Works, Mr Bathuel Harrison noted that the dualisation of the road was initiated by Governor Wike to boost the economy of the Ogoni speaking local government areas of the state, neglected by the immediate past APC administration in the state.
Also at the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road, the Works Commissioner , Mr Bathuel Harrison stated that the road will create access to two major riverine local government areas, with several communities benefiting.
The Rivers State Education Commissioner, Prof Kaniye Ebeku explained the rationale behind the reintroduction of boarding schools by the Wike administration when he briefed the team at the Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori.
Professor Ebeku stated that the more than 20 of such schools have been earmarked for total rehabilitation across the three senatorial districts, while work has started on six of such schools.
The restoration of the Health Sector is one of the highpoints of the second year of the Wike administration. Seventeen General and Zonal Hospitals are undergoing comprehensive rehabilitation across the three senatorial districts of the state.
Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Health, Caroline Wali explained that the rehabilitation which will be followed by the re-equipping of the hospitals will create access to quality healthcare for the people of the state.
The team from the National Economic Council Resolution Implementation Monitoring Committee were also inspected ongoing work at the State Ecumenical Centre, the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park, the Federal High Court Complex being funded by the Rivers State Government, the Court of Appeal being reconstructed .
Special Adviser on Special Projects to the Rivers State Governor, Mr Dum Wite stated that the Pleasure Park will re-energise tge tourism sector of the state and also generate internally generate internal revenue.
Team Leader of the National Economic Council Resolution Implementation Monitoring Committee, Alhaji Abdullateef Shittu expressed satisfaction at the quality of projects delivery across the state.
He commended the governor for the spread of his projects and the number of projects executed, pointing out that all senatorial districts have been reached by the administration.
For Rivers people, the approval rating of Governor Wike continues to climb because he prefers to satisfy the greatest number through projects, rather than satisfy a few persons through political patronage.
This dedication to the greatest number has led to few politicians and their associates grumbling. But the governor maintains that the people come first. In 2016, the state budget was 60 percent capital expenditure and 40 percent recurrent expenditure. He raised the bar in 2017. The state budget has 70 capital expenditure and 30 percent recurrent expenditure.
According to Governor Wike, a project like Obiri-Ikwerre Road would benefit all Rivers people and visitors to the state, irrespective of the political affiliations of those who ply the road. However, if the same amount is shared out in terms of political patronage, only a few privileged persons will benefit.
Majority of Rivers people have benefited from the strategic projects and programmes of Governor Wike in the last 22 months. The state is marching forward and achieving the goal of a New Rivers State.