• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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I met N13bn IGR per month but we are now seeing N27bn – Fubara

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Governor Sim Fubara of Rivers State seems to have released what appears to be a bombshell. He has revealed that he met internally generated revenue (IGR) being reported as N13bn maximum per month. Now, he said, he is seeing N27bn.

Most persons in Rivers State still seem to gasp in their breaths and short of words for interviews.

The governor restated that his administration operates a transparent accounting system in its deployment of scarce resources in providing essential services to the people.

Read also: Credible Rivers people stand with me – Gov Fubara

The governor played host to the leadership and members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on a courtesy visit to Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday.

The Governor recalled that when he was appointed the Accountant General of the state in 2020, the public accounting reporting position of the state changed for the best because he understood the numbers and how to clearly present the details.

He said that culture of prudence and transparency has been maintained as he assumed governorship of the State despite the challenges that had confronted his Administration.

Fubara stated that in managing the finances, he has also increased the IGR of the state.

He said, “As an organised government, when we came on board, we met a very big challenge. For 11 years, there was no promotion in this State Civil Service. So, imagine a government that inherited about 52,000 civil servants, and you want to pay them for years that they had been denied their dues.

“What we were paying before I came in was an average of N5.3 billion. Let us even do 25 percent of it: it can’t be anything less than N8Bn that we are doing now. That was what we started paying.

“How much is our allocation? So, we needed to think outside the box. That was where we now did a rejig of our IGR. And I can tell you today that all the projects we are doing, we don’t borrow,” he said.

Gov Fubara insisted: “We are very transparent. We are not hiding anything. That is why I boldly would say it. The least we do this period is N26billion – N27billion. The highest they were doing before was N12billion – N13billion.”

The governor emphasised that everything will be done to apply the funds in areas that will bring positive change in improving education, healthcare and agriculture in the State.

“We will also do a few roads but the most important things are these three sectors. That is the only way we can save ourselves from this present situation of hardship. Save ourselves from the issues of societal ill: you call it cultism and others.”

He pointed to education as the only instrument the state can use to fight social vices. “And we need quality healthcare. You need to be alive to even drive a good car on the roads. You can imagine how much we spend on medical tourism.

“Then, agriculture: we have to ensure food security and sufficiency. We have to feed ourselves to tame hunger. So, those are the targets of this Government.”

Governor Fubara assured that no matter the challenges facing his Administration, his eyes will still be on the ball, and will not lose focus.

The Governor insisted: “We have promised our people that our administration will be for the people. We care for the people. The people are more important to us. When you have the people, you have everything.

“It doesn’t matter the high and mighty, the number of policemen that you carry around. The people are most important. Because the people are the ones who, in their sub-units, control people who at the end, make the decisions when the time comes.

“It is not the policemen. It is not the army. It is not the escorts. It is the people. So, our concern is how to meet the needs of the people.”

Gov Fubara also said that the country was at a crossroads, and emphasised the need to stand on the side of truth matter the number supporting you.

“What is important is any decision you make, you weigh it. What matters in life is, not coming on radio or television to talk about integrity. No. There are things that matter! Display evidence, public signs on your body and around you that show if you have integrity.”

In his address, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, Bamidele Salam, said they were in the State for the first retreat of the committee.

Salam pointed out that they chose the State because it is peaceful, and has a Governor who understands what governance truly means and has never been distracted by the political crisis confronting his Administration.

He commended the Governor for achieving over 26 projects in his first 100 days in office, and urged him to continue to deliver dividends of democracy to Rivers’ people.

He also urged the Governor to continue to anchor his Administration on peace, saying that without peace, they can never be any meaningful development in the State.

About 36 members of the committee, their aides and the retreat consultants were on the delegation for the visit.