By George Onah
Port Harcourtâ€”The Rivers State government says it has garnered about N17 billion in its compulsory monthly savings account since the account was opened 17 months ago, in spite of the stateâ€™s loss of 200 oil wells to neighbouring states.
The government said the money would not be tampered with for any reason, in view of the law creating the compulsory savings, which mandated the current administration to save one billion naira monthly from revenue accruing to the state from all sub-heads.
Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi disclosed, while briefing a delegation from the Nigerian Defence College, Abuja, which is on a one-week geo-strategic study tour of the state yesterday in Port Harcourt, that the government would adhere strictly to the arrangement.
Amaechi said the money was for future investments anywhere in the world, in any business that will be lucrative to the state, adding that banks could borrow from the funds and give Rivers State government returns on investment.
On other achievements, he said the government had been recovering about N400,000,000Â per month from the automation of civil servantsâ€™ salaries, an amount, he said, the state government hitherto loses monthly.
Amaechi said the loss was recorded for the number of years that the system was not automated, stating that the figure will be satisfactory when the government completes the bio-metrics component of the exercise.He said the public procurement law made the award of contracts in the state to be transparent and has afforded anybody in the country orÂ world an avenue to compete to reduce the cost of projects carried out by the government.
The governor explained that the bills on fiscal responsibility and financial management were before the state House of Assembly and when passed, would help in strengthening governmentâ€™s transactions and reduce corruption.
He attributed the current chaotic transport situation in the city to construction work on existing roads as well as indiscipline among drivers, adding that when construction work was completed, normalcy would return.
Amaechi told the visitors that the demolition of waterfronts was for the security of the people, stating that the present administration was committed to the enforcement of law and order.On his part, leader of the team, Commodore Johnson Olutoyin, said they were in the state to carry out a geo-strategic study of Rivers State, particularly with youth empowerment as a strategy for maintaining security in the state.