The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described as misleading, media reports of his response to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State over request for refund of funds spent on building flyovers and federal roads in the state.
During the opening of the Rumuokwuta-Rumuola flyover bridge last Wednesday, Tinubu instructed Wike to approach him about requesting reimbursements for the money the state spent on federal projects.
"I owe you nothing regarding the reimbursement request you made. Your road is that. You are the one who resides on these streets. I appreciate your effort. You need to convince me to pay, Tinubu had stated.
According to Vanguard news, The president-elect clarified his statement by stating that Wike was in compliance with any understanding the public would have of it.
No matter what you think about whether I owe something or not, I'm incredibly appreciative of the man (Wike) who got me here. He did not demand an individual commitment. He requested a commitment to a policy that an incoming president is not authorised to make or approve.
"Only one President may serve at a time. Since my tenure has not yet begun, I am unable to commit to spending money on behalf of the departing president. As he wrapped up a two-day tour to Rivers State, Tinubu pleaded with Nigerians to "get educated and be informed."
Recall that Wike had urged the federal government to change its procurement law in order to stop the ongoing abandonment of projects all throughout the nation.
He emphasised that the FG should reimburse the state because some of the flyovers were constructed on federal roads. He asked the future administration to take the Rivers State potential reimbursement into account.
"FG roads are these projects. None of our people should endure suffering. I think the federal government ought to offer to return these funds. I can tell you that as soon as you take office and decide to return these funds, other states will follow suit. Therefore, the first thing we are asking of you is a refund.
N20 million per month for law school
The Rivers governor also announced a N20 million monthly stipend pledge to the Nebo Graham Douglas Law School, a Federal Government facility that the state government developed. He did this as he was commissioning the Magistrate Court complex.
"The state government gave out N400m for the maintenance of the structures when we handed the Law School over to the Council of Legal Education," he claimed.
"We provided them land they may utilise to generate income to maintain the school. We didn't want them to claim that the federal government hadn't provided any money or that the amount it had was insufficient.
"I was told recently that there was no water and no light. I'm baffled by our system.
The Governor linked this attitude to Nigeria's terrible maintenance culture, where nobody cares enough to preserve public facilities, and he tasked the state's chief judge to prevent the recently built court complex from meeting a similar fate.
According to Vanguard news, Governor Wike promised that money will be set aside to cover the complex's maintenance requirements for the first year.
"I don't want to see or hear that it has deteriorated or fallen into disrepair as I am about to leave office; it would be unfair.
"Therefore, you'll receive N20 million each month to keep this facility up. Therefore, we will pay you one year in advance so that you can maintain this place properly, he said.
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