The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has described as false the allegation by Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi that she is responsible for the delay in the provision of potable water for citizens of the state, saying nothing could be more farther from the truth.
Information Nigeria recalls that during a courtesy visit of the House of Representatives Committee on Water Resources accompanied by the Executive Directors of the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority to the governor at Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday, Mr. Amaechi had called for a probe of Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala and her counterpart in the Ministry of Water Resources, Stella Ochekpe over the alleged seizure of the World Bank and African Development Bank loans approved by the National Assembly for the state.
Among other things, he was quoted as saying, “The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is using her position to undermine the safety and health of the people of Rivers State. I can’t afford to give all Rivers people bottled water, but all I can assure you is to ensure the provision of potable water.
“But the Minister of Finance has refused to release it and I think I should put that before you (House Committee on Water Resources). They want Rivers people to die”.
But in her defense contained in a statement issued on Tuesday night, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said it was “unfortunate that Amaechi is persisting in his outrageous and totally illogical campaign of falsehood” against her person.
The statement signed by her Special Adviser on Communication, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu described as “complete fabrication” Gov. Amaechi’s statement that the minister was responsible for the delay of the African Development Bank water project.
It reads in part, “As the ministry had previously explained, the project is going through the processes and must get final approval from the board of the African Development Bank and the Federal Executive Council before the Minister can sign it.
“So, the idea that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has refused to sign it is preposterous and totally inaccurate.
“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is not responsible for managing the N257bn that Rivers State has received from the Federation Account within the first 10 months of 2013 so the suggestion that she is somehow responsible for the challenges confronting the state doesn’t make sense”.