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‘No State Is Poor’, Wike Faults Governors For Dependence On FAAC Allocation

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has faulted governors who depend on the monthly Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), saying no state in Nigeria is poor.

Speaking during a lecture of the Executive Management Course 14 in Abuja, Wike wondered why governors lament there is no money in their states yet seek a second term in office.

The governor noted that every state has its own advantage and disadvantage, comparing two American states – Houston and California.

The first, according to Wike, is blessed with oil but not as developed as the second which doesn’t have crude oil but is the biggest economy in the United States.

He believes that development can strive if the governor is able to use the advantage for the benefit of the state and its people.

“No state is poor in this country, it is this over-dependence on the Federal Government,” Wike said. “At the end of every month, they send their Accountant-General/Commissioner of Finance for FAAC.”

“Any state that tells you we are poor and they deceive you by saying their state is poor. I keep on telling them ‘if your state is poor, why do you want to be governor? Your state is poor; you want to run the second term.”

He, therefore, charged governors to make good use of the opportunities at their disposal and stop relying solely on the Federal Government for survival.

On the issue of the Value Added Tax, the governor criticised the Federal Government for collecting VATs from states, insisting that “I looked at it and saw that what the Federal Government was collecting is not their own.”

When he came into office in 2015, Governor Wike recalled that he inherited Rivers State as one that was financially depleted and very close to bankruptcy.

This, to him, is because workers in the state were owed their monthly salaries; pensioners were not paid as well as contractors, describing the situation as being problematic.

Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), explained that what he met on the ground became worse for him because his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi (of the All Progressives Congress) did not leave a handover note to ease governance.

According to him, institutions should be made strong so that whether a governor is leaving the office or not, governance would not fail as it is a continuum.

He added, “Nigeria is one funny country how a democratically elected governor in the history of Nigeria will take a padlock and lock the court for two years. For two years, the courts were shut down in Rivers State and you know the implication of the courts being shut down.

“We, the governors are too powerful. The President is too powerful. If the governors were not too powerful, how can a governor think of a whole arm of government, the judiciary, and shut it for two years?

“Tell me what will be the fate of those who have problems with their contracts, how do they go for determination of who is wrong or right?” he questioned.

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You’ve Failed Nigerians In All Your Promises, Wike To APC

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The Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has berated the All Progressives Congress-led federal government for allegedly failing in all three promises made to Nigerians including fighting insurgency, corruption and fixing the economy.

The Governor expressed his disappointment on Friday at the presentation of the 2022 appropriation bill to the Rivers State House of Assembly.

Governor Wike said the country has never had it worse than it is today since the Nigerian civil war in 1967.

He said, “under their watch, we have witnessed two economic recessions in quick successions with devastating economic consequences on the states and living standards of the people especially ordinary Nigerians and the teeming unemployed population”.

Acknowledging that the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the economic challenges in the country, Wike noted that “our situation was made worse by the failure of the federal government to deal with security challenges that have now escalated multi-dimensionally to virtually all regions of the country “.

“They promised to tackle the insurgency, pervasive corruption and fix the economy, they have failed woefully in all three promises to the indignation of Nigerians”.

“I’m sure this mistake will not be repeated by Nigerians in 2023”.

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Umahi Has No Plans To Return To PDP, APC Insists

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi says governor Dave Umahi has no plans to return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Simbard Ogbuatu, the state party spokesperson in a statement issued Friday in Abakaliki, said “Umahi has not, either in person, a representative or through a surrogate made and will never make any move to return to the ‘Social Club’ known as PDP.”

According to him, Mr Umahi is at home in APC as the leader of the party for more than one year, claiming that the governor’s defection to the APC was not done to achieve selfish enrichment but for greater good of Ebonyi and the South-East zone.

“Umahi’s defection to the national party did not come to him as stupefaction, neither did he join for selfish enrichment.

“The defection is a well-thought out movement decided in the greater interest of Ebonyi in particular and the South-East in general.

“His Excellency saw the need to toe the line of the former nationalists like late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, from the zone who had always believed in the politics of the centre,” Mr Ogbuatu said.

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Senate Accuses Prominent Nigerians Of Frustrating AMCON’s N4.4 trillion Debt Recovery Efforts

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The Senate says some prominent Nigerians are “frustrating” the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria from recovering N4.4 trillion owed the corporation.

Senator Uba Sani, Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, made this known on Friday at a stakeholders meeting.

According to Mr Sani, “From the N4.4 trillion we are trying to recover, about 350 people in this country are responsible. This is about 83 per cent of the debt.”

He said that the indebted powerful Nigerians “have been employing different strategies and tactics to stall the repayment of loans running into trillions of Naira.”

He said they were unwilling to support AMCON but frustrating the corporation because they are the same people that have taken this money from the banks.

“But unfortunately, from what is happening, AMCON is finding it very difficult because those people are highly placed Nigerians, they try to frustrate AMCON’s effort through the judiciary and that is what we are looking for,” the Senator said.

He assured the agency the committee was doing everything within its power to assist AMCON in recovering the N4.4 trillion owed the company.

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