Nigeria: Group Seeks Accountability On Govt's N78 Billion Reimbursement of Rivers State

An advocacy group, Network for Defense and Good Governance (NDDGG), has called on the federal government to ensure that the Rivers State government gives account of its expenditure of the N78.9 billion reimbursement approved for the state recently.

Last month, the federal government approved the fund as reimbursement for its spending on federal roads in the state, including the Port Harcourt-Owerri road.

The approval was granted at the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, a member of the opposition party and vocal critic of Mr Buhari's administration, in an advertorial on some newspaper pages, last week showered praises on the President for the refund.

According to him, Mr Buhari has demonstrated he is a president of every state of the federation and Nigerians.

"I wish to on behalf of the government and people of Rivers State appreciate and most sincerely thank you for graciously approving the refund of the sum of N78.9 billion to Rivers State Government, as cost of the execution of federal government road projects in Rivers State," Mr Wike said.

Call for transparency

The NDDGG convener, Sobomabo Jackrich, on Tuesday, urged the federal government to ensure accountability on the fund.

"The Rivers state government should publish details as to how it and what projects the N78.9 billion would be used for in line with Public Procurement Laws," the convener stated in a statement obtained by PREMIUM TIMES.

He noted that this would enable monitors to track proper appropriation of the allocated funds.

Mr Jackrich called on other anti-corruption crusaders to join on a fact-finding mission in ensuring that the Governor Wike-led administration observes all accountability measures in the running of the state.

He further urged the federal government to review its 13 per cent allocation to the oil-bearing communities in Rivers State, starting from 2015.

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