The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has faulted the exclusion of the state from the list of those to benefit from Federal Government’s projects to be executed in 2014.
The State APC expressed bewilderment that President Goodluck Jonathan could direct the Federal Ministry of Works to bypass Rivers State in the allocation and execution of projects due to the disagreement between him and the State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
The party hailed the decision of the member representing Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, to walk out on the Ministry of Works when it came to defend its 2014 budget over the zero allocation to the state.
In a statement signed by Chukwuemeka Eze, the Senior Special Assistant to the State Chairman of APC, Dr. Ikanya Davies, the party explained that the zero project allocation meant that Rivers would not be a beneficiary of any Federal Government project in 2014.
According to the statement, “We have learnt with shock and disbelief, of the zero allocation to Rivers State in the 2014 Budget of the Federal Ministry of Works. What this means is that Rivers State will not receive any Federal Government project this year!
“No one is deceived by the claim of the Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolememen, while defending the ministry’s budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Works that neither the Federal Government nor his ministry was at war with Rivers State.
“If that is the case, then what could have warranted the omission of Rivers State from the list of states that will enjoy Federal Government presence in terms of capital project execution this year? If this is not war, then what is it?
“This is very sad and condemnable. It is simply unbelievable that President Jonathan could direct the Ministry of Works to bypass Rivers State just because he has some differences with Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
“We must commend Hon. Dakuku Peterside, Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), for proving to be a worthy representative of the people of Rivers State by staging a walkout in protest of the zero allocation to the state during the Works Ministry’s budget defence”.
The party specified that no single allocation was given to projects like the construction of Eleme Junction Flyover, dualization of the access roads to Onne Port in Rivers State; access roads to Eleme Port Harcourt Refinery and the construction of Bodo-Bonny Road with a bridge across the Opobo Channel.
Other projects that did not receive allocation, according to the state APC, are the rehabilitation of the Abalamabie (Allison Hart) bridge.
The party recalled that the state government awarded and completed Eleme Junction Flyover project in 2009.
“If we may ask; what joy does President Jonathan derive in continuing this ill-advised war against Rivers State and her people? Under the watch of President Jonathan, Rivers State has lost much revenue as our oil wells were transferred to neighbouring states”, the state APC added.