Home Nigeria President-elect Bola Tinubu Maintains Non-Refund of Cost of Flyovers to Wike

President-elect Bola Tinubu Maintains Non-Refund of Cost of Flyovers to Wike

Bola Tinubu
Bola Tinubu

By Uche Amunike

Nigeria’s President-elect, Ahmed Bola Tinubu has stated, Wednesday, that he will not refund the cost of flyovers constructed on federal government’s road by the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, as he is not obligated to do so towards any federal project undertaken by any state in the federation.
He made this disclosure while responding to Governor Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt, during the inauguration  of the Rumuokuta flyover during a  two day visit to River State. He however told the Rivers State governor that he might reconsider his stance on his request only if he lobbies him to do so.
Nyesom Wike tried to justify his request, explaining how his administration had successfully delivered various major projects effortlessly. Hear him: ‘Part of why we are having uncompleted projects have to do with our procurement laws. If you follow the procurement law, it will take very long to complete projects.’
‘How much does the procurement law, I mean for federal, says, 15 to 30% (mobilisation). When you give a contractor 15%, inflation is rising almost every day, before you give another money they will call for variation because of increasing cost of materials.’
‘In our own case, I call Mr Speaker, to say we can’t continue with this. We had to amend our own procurement law to give us the latitude to pay 70% to a company we know has the capacity to deliver within time.’
‘That is why today, no project being handled by Julius Berger (JB) is uncompleted. Recently we are dualising Ahoada to Omoku to Egbema, with to our boundary with Imo state. 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 N80Bn. We fall back on our Internally Generated Revenue, to say every month, take N4Bn, finish this road in 18months. That is why we have never failed in completing our projects.’
‘Unfortunately, these projects are FG roads. We don’t want our people to suffer. I believe  federal government should say let us refund these money. 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.’
In his response, Bola Tinubu commended the Rivers state governor for his efforts but maintained that he was not indebted to him. His words: ‘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.’
He noted that his visit to the state was a promise fulfilled and lauded Wike for being a principled man, most especially for being courageous enough to stand by his conviction that the presidency must return to the South, without minding whose ox was gored. He also thanked him for championing justice on that score.
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