By George Onah
Port Harcourtâ€”Â Angered by the prodigal spending of majority of the chairmen of the 23 local governments of Rivers State, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has set up a committee to probe the activities of the council bosses.
Amaechi said over N1 billion expenditure had been taken off the shoulders of the local council leadership, â€œyet nothing is feltâ€ by the rural dwellers in â€œterms of project execution in the various councilsâ€
The nine-member committee which comprises seven women have been mandated to search through the accounts books of the local government chairmen with the aim of finding out what they have been doing with the huge monthly allocations availed them.
Disclosing governmentâ€™s intention to probe the council leaders at the monthly inter-governmental forum, Amaechi said he was at a loss where the council bosses had put all the money in spite of the governmentâ€™s take over of the salaries of teachers and health workers.
â€œThe expectations that the government would take advantage of the assistance of the state government have not been achieved,â€ Amaechi said, pointing out that the people were expected to transform their councils.
But the chairmen of Port Harcourt City , Emohua and Etche local governments blamed their seeming non-performance on the current financial meltdown, which had affected their allocations, while another beats his chest over his performance.
â€œAfter the payment of staff salaries and other things, some of us are left with five or six million naira to run the council for the whole monthâ€, Emeka Woke who heads Emohua council lamented.
Again, PHALGA boss Chief Azubike Mmerukini, traced his troubles to over bloated work force, which places spanner in the wheels of the execution of projects, stating that their best energy was currently being judiciously expended.
Etche Chairman Chief Ephraim Nwuzi, said it was not every council boss that was sitting on the fence, boasting that â€œif the committee comes and donâ€™t find projects on ground, I will resignâ€.