Former Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi has said he left a balance of between N8 to N10billion for his successor, Governor Nyesom Wike.
In a statement from his media office yesterday, the former governor denied that he handed over an empty treasury to his successor.
According to the statement, a total of N7.5 billion cash was left behind as balances in the State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) account with Skye Bank, FAAC account with Zenith Bank, balances with Access Bank and funds in the State reserve fund account in First Bank.
“This is besides other balances in the state Government House account with Zenith Bank and other government MDA accounts, like the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP. By the time you pull all these together, we are looking at readily available cash in the region of eight to ten billion naira left for the Wike administration,” the statement read.
“It’s also pertinent to point out here that former governor Amaechi also left economic assets worth tens of billions of naira for the state. Just like cash, the assets store value. These assets that are scattered in diverse sectors of the economy were developed or built or procured with revenue that accrued to the state during Amaechi’s tenure. The assets belong to Rivers State, not Amaechi. Some of these assets are presently yielding revenue to the state coffers, and many can be easily and readily converted to cash, if the State so desires.
“It is therefore disingenuous and fraudulent for Wike to claim that Amaechi left an empty treasury in his bid to justify the N30 billion loans he collected under 30 days in office. Rather than this puerile and silly distraction of always pointing accusing fingers at Amaechi, Wike should come out to explain to Rivers people what he took the loans for, account for and justify every kobo that has been spent from the loans,” the statement concluded.
However, in reaction to the statement by Amaechi, media aide to governor Nyesom Wike, Mr Opunabo Nko-Tariah, described the claim by the former governor as another tissue of lies. He stressed that if he left what he claimed, how come civil servants, pensioners , footballers and contractors were owed by his government.
Nko-Tariah added that even students on the state scholarship program overseas were almost sent out of the classroom over unpaid fees. He said that the issue was even not all about empty treasury alone as properties in Government House, Port Harcourt were allegedly looted before the handover date of May 29.
Governor Wike had consistently maintained that he met a completely empty treasury when he took over as governor, especially when trying to justify why he took a total of N30 billion bank loans from Zenith and Access banks under 30 days in office.