The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has told Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State that he (Tinubu) owed him nothing but that “You have to lobby me to collect”.
Tinubu said this today (Wednesday) in Port Harcourt the state capital, during the inauguration of the Rumuokuta Flyover, while responding to a request by Governor Wike, who asked for refunds on federal projects undertaken by states of the federation.
The Rivers State Governor had told Wike that they spent about N80 billion to construct the federal roads projects. Stressing that Julius Berger construction company are the one handling the projects hence they delivered seamlessly.
He said: “Julius Berger is doing that work. We also dualising from Emohua, East West, to Degema Junction, also by JB.
“How much did they charge us? About N80 billion. We fall back on our Internally Generated Revenue, to say every month, take N4 billion, finish this road in 18 months. That is why we have never failed in completing our projects.
“Unfortunately, these projects are Federal Government’s roads. We don’t want our people to suffer. I believe the Federal Government should say ‘let us refund these monies’.
“I assure you, as you enter office and approve to pay these monies back, other states will also do same thing. So that (refund) is the first request we are making to you.”
Responding, the President-elect told Wike: “On the demand you made for refund, I owe you nothing. It’s your road. You’re the one living on these roads. I commend your efforts. You have to lobby me to collect.”
However, attesting to growing intimacy between him and the Rivers outgoing governor, Tinubu said: “My visit to Rivers is a promise kept, promise fulfilled. If you talk of character, Governor Nyesom Wike you are very dependable.
“In Wike, I see a man of principle. He took a stand that the presidency must return to South. And he had the courage to stand by his conviction, not minding whose ox is gored.
“He is indeed a man of great integrity. You promoted unity, promoted fairness, you championed justice.
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