By Davies Iheamnachor
The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has disclosed how he influenced the refund of the money his administration spent on construction of federal roads in Rivers State.
The Minister spoke in Port Harcourt, weekend, while receiving decampees from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Alabo Michael West, Obinna Chima, Dr. John Bazia, Chief Salvation Ezengwogwo, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Amaechi explained that he was in the cabinet meeting of the federal government when the issue of the refund was brought up, stressing that he had every opportunity to stop it, but in the interest of the state he insisted that the money be paid.
He said his Administration constructed the federal roads in the state, but regretted that the former federal government administration had accepted to pay only N78 billion out of N104bn the state spent on the roads.
Amaechi said: “All the Federal roads in the state I worked on them. The total bill was 104 billion naira which the federal government in the debate said they could pay 78 billion.
“Do not forget that I am no longer a Governor, yet I was not selfish to kill it. I could kill it in the cabinet. I could lobby my colleagues and say to them don’t allow this money to be paid and it won’t be paid.
“But I stood up in the cabinet and not only did I argue that the money be paid to state Governors, I said it was not enough, N78 billion naira was not enough for Rivers people.”
The Minister noted that the state was his primary interest, adding that he would keep working for the development of the state.
“Rivers interest is primary to me. After Rivers interest, the Nigeria interest is also primary to me.”
However, responding on behalf of the decampees, West, a former governorship aspirant of PDP, a two time House of Assembly member states that they came to APC in the interest of development.