Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State on Friday took a look at the performance of his government in the past one year and declared that the government had done so marvelously well despite the difficulties.
But he said the mood for celebration has been dulled by the rampaging Covid-19 pandemic, which as of Friday had claimed 12 lives in the state and infected close to 200 people.
“Normally, we should be celebrating this important milestone with the commissioning of completed projects and correlated social activities. But these are abnormal times and moments like this call for subdued feelings
“For us, every life matters; and every life lost is a monumental tragedy, not only to the immediate families, but also, to all of humanity,” he said.
He said despite concerted efforts to contain the virus, “the reality therefore, is that we must all accept to live with this virus and its consequences until an effective vaccine is discovered.”
He said the battle against Covid-19 could only succeed if the people individually join in the fight. “We must therefore all strive to help ourselves, our families, our communities and our State by complying religiously with the laid down regulations and advisories on social distancing and wearing of face masks.
On the achievements of his administration in the past one year, Wike said, “We are happy and proud to say that God has helped us to fulfill most of the promises that we made in our inaugural address.”
He said that apart from the progressing urban renewal programme of the state capital, Port Harcourt, government had taken infrastructure development to other parts of the state with the construction and expansion of roads, rebuilding of secondary schools and hospitals.
He listed the major projects of the state in the last one year to include the three flyovers at Artillery, Garrison and Rumuokoro. He said work on the construction of the fourth flyover across GRA junction and accompanying dualization of Ezimgbu (Mummy B) road was underway.
He also mentioned dualization of Tombia Extension, GRA to link Ikwerre road; the dualization of Kira – Sapkenwa – Bori – Kono, straddling three Local Government Areas in Ogoni; construction of Oyigbo (Mbano camp) to Iriebe, linking Oyigbo and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas of the State, as project nearing completion as well as the Alesa- Agbonchia – Oyigbo road linking Eleme and Oyigbo Local Government Areas.
The governor also listed many roads in Emohua, Ikwerre, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Etche, Obio/Akpor, Akuku Toru, Tai; Opobo/Nkoro and Andoni local government areas.
“Apart from roads, we also made significant progress in the last one year on the progressive delivery of healthcare and education infrastructure and services.
“The mother and child hospital is virtually completed. Also completed is the comprehensive health centre at Odiokwu in Ahoada West Local Government Area.
“We fully built, completely equipped and converted the former Braithwaite Memorial Hospital to the Rivers State university Teaching Hospital. The regional referral hospitals in Degema and Bori in Degema and Khana Local Government Areas respectively are presently being furnished and equipped, while structural work is continuing on the ones located in Omoku and Okehi in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni and Etche Local Government areas,” he said.
He said funds had been released for the comprehensive restoration and upgrade of scores of dilapidated secondary schools across the State, including: Enitonna High School and Government Comprehensive High School, Borikiri, Obama High School, Degema and Model Secondary School, Tombia, and Community Secondary School, Omuanwa, Kalabari National College, Buguma, Community Secondary School, Kugbo, Community Secondary School, Obeakpu, and Community Secondary Schoo, Eteo.
“The construction of students’ hostels for the Real Madrid Football Academy is progressing very well and the academy will soon open its doors for simultaneous academic and football and related training and mentoring programmes,” he added.
And in line with our promise to refocus on agricultural development, we are at the verge of completing the Datco cassava processing plant, with guaranteed off-taker opportunities for over 3000 local cassava farmers, and inspiring capacity to stimulate the cassava revolution in the State and related industries and create thousands of direct and indirect jobs for our people.
“As we continue on this progressive trajectory into the second year, we can only promise to recommit ourselves to work harder and deliver greater development to our people. We know it is not going to be easy given the very poor state of the national economy and the spinoff effects on ours.
“But tough times like this call for unity of thought, unity of purpose and unity of actions; believing in ourselves and in our ability to overcome all the challenges that confront us as a State and as a people.”