Rivers State Reserve & Investment Fund (R&IF) which was initiated by Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has hit N42 billion.
This is as the state’s economy, regarded as the second largest in Nigeria and 15th in Africa, now boasts of a per capita income of about $4000 or N600,000, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by Chamberlain Peterside, the commissioner of finance.
Peterside said in a review of the Amaechi administration that the Rivers State economy is now higher than those of Vietnam and Ukraine, adding that the state economy is growing at double digits while being highly rated by both Fitch and Standard’s and Poor. The state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) hit an all-time high of N95.59 billion in February 2013 and is trending at an average of N6.5 billion per month.
The commissioner said, “Not many know that as the issue of sovereign wealth fund takes centre-stage in national debate, Rivers State is the second (after Cross River State) to set up a sub-national reserve/investment fund that currently boasts of over N42 billion (the highest of any state in the federation)”.
The finance commissioner said this is part of initiatives and policy reforms focused on improving the investment climate, strengthening the institutional base of public sector and ultimately building a truly 21st century middle-income society in the state.
“Over the last several years since the Fiscal Responsibility Act and Public Procurement Law were enacted in the state, public finance administration of the state has truly been streamlined and transparent as due process practices continue to level the playing field for more private sector vendors/contractors to participate in government contracts”.
Peterside said the project inspection tour of the state on May 29, the Democracy Day, had opened the eyes of most Rivers State persons to the volume of projects the Amaechi administration has so far achieved.