By Emmanuel Aziken
All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftain, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has challenged the electorate in Rivers State to scrutinise the claims of Governor Nyesom Wike against the realities of revenue inflow and realities on ground.
Peterside, Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, at an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos, also listed the achievements of the agency in the past three years, saying that it had put no fewer than 2,000 Nigerians as seafarers in ocean-going vessels. He also claimed that the agency had returned N43 billion in the last two years to the Federal Government against the N3 billion returned by the preceding regime.
Peterside, who was the APC governorship candidate in the 2015 election, dismissed as tangential to the development needs of the people of Rivers State, claims by the Wike administration even as he challenged the media and citizens to scrutinise the claims of the administration in the state.
“Wike’s works have been blown out of proportion. If you match what he has with what is on the ground, there is a total mismatch. He received over N160 billion from internally generated revenue last year, what is on the ground cannot give an account of that.
“Wike has not advertised any project, and this is a setback for the principle of transparency,” he said.
The law insulates the board of internal revenue, but he regularly dissolves the board to suit his fancy.
“We should not respect leaders who insulate themselves from the people. Why is Rivers number one in unemployment? Give credit to who credit is due,” he said, claiming that several of the projects claimed by the incumbent regime in Rivers State were initiated by the preceding Chubuike Amaechi administration.
Noting the achievements of his administration at NIMASA, he said: “We have raised the bar, and there is no place for sub-standard vessels in Nigeria, and this has led to the drastic reduction in accidents in the country’s waterways. In fact, no accident in the last one year.
“We have also succeeded in putting 2,337 Nigerians as seafarers in ocean-going vessels.”