Wike questions FG’s claim of road construction, power in Rivers

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has faulted the Federal Government’s claim of executing road projects and providing solar powered electricity in some communities in the state and challenged it to show where the projects are located.

The governor also accused the Central Bank of Nigeria of denying the state access to agricultural loans because of politics.

Wike said it was important for the state government to know where those rural roads and solar power projects were located so that proper recording would be done and a letter of appreciation written to thank the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for the gesture.

The governor stated, “I am also surprised when you (Shehuri) said you’ve done rural roads in Rivers State. I don’t know the roads you did. It is important for us to know them so that we will put it on record that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture did this road.

“And we will be able to write to you and thank you for doing such roads. If you put solar, let us also know, except you gave it to your party people. There is no way you will do a road in my state without the state government being aware.”

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The governor, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, decried a situation where every issue in the country, including agriculture, had been politicised instead of implementing policies without bias to achieve the intended food security and jobs for the youth.

“I think, I am in one of those states that nobody gives loans to for agriculture. I don’t know what hatred the central bank governor has for us. We do not know. We have been hearing of Anchor Borrowers this and Anchor that. But when it concerns Rivers State, you will hear a lot of things,” he stated.

He explained that in an ideal situation devoid of politics, the CBN ought to partner the Rivers State Government to achieve the objectives of setting up the state-owned cassava processing plant.

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He also described as funny the frequent abduction of schoolchildren in the northern part of the country.

He faulted the spate of abduction of schoolchildren in succession and their release shortly afterwards.

The governor stated this when he hosted the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Monday.

Wike said, “I saw breaking news of another bandits’ attack in Kaduna and bandits taking away students and teachers. The thing is becoming funny. Yesterday, you took 300; two days after, they release them. The next morning, you take another one; the next 24 hours, they’re released.

“So, people know where they are. You take 200 and something people in a 20-kilometre distance and nobody will know?  And in the next 24 hours, they have been released. What’s really happening?

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“Can somebody tell us the truth of what’s going on? It is becoming funny. And why is it so? It is so because we politicise the issue of security.”

Responding, Shehuri said he was in the state to inspect ongoing and completed projects that would boost rural agricultural activities under his ministry.

He stated that the Federal Government was poised to support Rivers farmers with new technologies that would address the problems of low yields, allow them have access to improved varieties of cassava, and chemicals for treatment for the seeds and crops protection.

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