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“I Owe You Nothing”, Tinubu Tells Wike

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“I Owe You Nothing”, Tinubu Tells Wike

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, reportedly informed Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike that he owed him nothing and that “you have to lobby me to collect.”

This was declared by Tinubu today (Wednesday) in Port Harcourt, the state capital, at the opening of the Rumuokuta Flyover, in response to a demand made by Governor Wike for reimbursement for federal projects carried out by states of the federation.

Wike had explained to Tinubu the request’s justification and the reasons his administration has successfully completed several large-scale projects: “Part of why we are having uncompleted projects has to do with our procurement laws. If you follow the procurement law, it will take very long to complete projects.

“When you give a contractor 15%, inflation is rising almost every day; before you give another money, they will call for variation because of the increasing cost of materials.

“In our own case, I call Mr Speaker, to say we can’t continue with this. We had to amend our own procurement law to give us the latitude to pay 70% to a company we know has the capacity to deliver within time.

“That is why today, no project being handled by Julius Berger (JB) is uncompleted. Recently we are dualizing Ahoada to Omoku to Egbema, with to our boundary with Imo state.

“Julius Berger is doing that work. We also dualizing from Emohua, East West, to Degema Junction, also by JB.

“How much did they charge us? About N80 billion. We fall back on our Internally Generated Revenue, to say every month, take N4 billion, and finish this road in 18 months. That is why we have never failed in completing our projects.

“Unfortunately, these projects are Federal Government’s roads. We don’t want our people to suffer. I believe the Federal Government should say ‘Let us refund these monies’.

“I assure you, as you enter the office and approve to pay these monies back, other states will also do the same thing. So that (refund) is the first request we are making to you.”

Responding, the President-elect told Wike: “On the demand you made for a refund, I owe you nothing. It’s your road. You’re the one living on these roads. I commend your efforts. You have to lobby me to collect.”

Also Read: How Tinubu’s Son Purchased An $11 Million London Mansion Linked to Fraud

However, Tinubu acknowledged the growing closeness between him and the departing governor of Rivers.

Tinubu said: “My visit to Rivers is a promise kept, promise fulfilled. If you talk of character, Governor Nyesom Wike you are very dependable.

“In Wike, I see a man of principle. He took a stand that the presidency must return to the South. And he had the courage to stand by his conviction, not minding whose ox is gored.

“He is indeed a man of great integrity. You promoted unity, promoted fairness, you championed justice.

“To commission this project today is another way of building bridges across Nigeria which cannot be overstated.

“It is on the strength of your character that I stand to fulfill the promise I made during the campaigns. I’m happy we have been able to establish a relationship.

“I’m a very happy man. As you make people happy, and create excitement and development across this state, we have something to look forward to in Nigeria.”

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