Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
The Chairman of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tony Okocha has alleged that within five months, the state government under the leadership of Siminalayi Fubara received the sum N144.2billion from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
Okocha made the disclosure yesterday when he visited the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Martins Amaewhule at his official residence in Port Harcourt, alongside his executive members.
The APC chairman who expressed satisfaction and courage on how the 27 lawmakers have exuded in carrying out their legislative businesses and oversight functions, said despite the allocation received between June -November last year by Governor Fubara, the state is yet to see how it has been invested into developmental projects.
The party leadership regretted that the governor was yet to represent the 2024 budget estimate to the state House of Assembly, even after the peace pact with President Bola Tinubu.
“As a party we are happy to receive you as an ornament and treasurable asset to our party. We are thereby through you demand the Executive arm to shelves their necessary delay in presenting the 2024 Budget Estimate to the Assembly, to enable the budget pass through the crucibles and approved.
“We frown at the governor’s impunity in running Rivers state without a Budget. However, we remind him that it will amount to gross financial misconduct for him to continue in this dangerous voyage.
“This might sound unpalatable but annoying. As a party in opposition in the state, we have applied and and received data on the sum received by the Rivers state government from Federal Allocation. From June 22, 2023 to November 2023. It is our finding that a whooping sum of N144, 291, 667, 791.01 has been received from Federal Allocation under FAAC.
“This amount b beside internally generated Revenue of the state which is put on conservatively N10billion every month. We regret that this humongous amount has not transmitted to action in any way in terms of development in the state. What we see are hidden funded sick processions and media presences in support for unnecessary politics.
“We therefore warn that as a party, We regret that this humongous amount have not translated to action in anyway in terms of development in the state. What we see are heavily founded seek processions and media presences in support for an unnecessary political imbroglio.
“We therefore warn that as a party, we shall not hesitate to punish any member of our party who is in cohort with this massive flopping and crafts financial magnificent of our dear Rivers state fund.”
Speaking further, the APC chairman urged the 27 lawmakers to domesticate the local government autonomy which was recently passed into lawmakers, saying that they should ensure is being conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and not Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC).
“As legislative arm, you are to oversight the legislative and if you do nothing, you are equally complicit. We are to canvass support on the law recently made by the national assembly on to be local government autonomy and the conducts of the local government election to be done by INEC, not RSIEC.
“We will not delay the matter by diving into the matter. The lifespan of the local government will expire sometime in June this year, we remind the Executive arm to immediately put in place the constitutional processes which includes the lists of time table of elections within the time specifics.”
In his reaction, the Speaker, Martins Amaewhule said the Assembly had recently, passed many bills into law which includes local government autonomy bill, adding that the lawmakers have also reverted the embargo on the use of public facilities for political activities in the state.