Wike And N10 Billion Loan | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Wike And N10 Billion Loan

Posted: Jun 15, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Magnus Ugwubujor , Lagos

The effect of the shortfall in the revenue allocation from the federation account to the States has been taking its toll on the States as many of them are reported not to have enough to run. The situation has led to some states making various calls to the federal government for a bail out. As such, some new state governors have devised a way to access funds to run their respective governments for the much-needed dividends of democracy.



Chief (Barister) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, the governor of Rivers State falls into this category. Last week the state House of Assembly approved his proposal to secure a loan from Zenith Bank Plc. This according to him would enable him begin to run the affairs of the state.  The amount worth N10 billion is for the rehabilitation of roads and some projects within the governor’s first 100 days in office.

As it is, Wike’s request is coming just barely 2 weeks after being sworn into office leading to some keen observers wondering if the loan is not rather too early and hasty? This is even more distrustful at a time when he is yet to constitute his cabinet and start any serious business of governance.

Analysts are quick to observe that if Lagos State, which is a centre of commerce in Nigeria, could sustain itself through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), then Rivers State, also relatively a centre of commerce with major oil companies located in the city of Port Harcourt should be able to generate enough revenue to run the state effectively.

However, a school of thought sees Wike’s move to secure the loan as a laudable initiative and a welcome development. Perhaps, he may be making proactive arrangement for an effective take off of governance when the time comes. A member representing Ogu/Bolo constituency, in the State House of Assembly, Evans Bipi, while lauding the governor’s loan initiative, noted that the proposed N10 billion loan was an indication that the governor would be very diligent with public funds. But only time would prove this assertion right or wrong.

Governor Nyesom Wike holds degrees in Political and Administrative Studies as well as Law. He was elected twice as the Executive Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area from 1999 to 2002 and 2004 to 2007 respectively. Between October 26, 2007 and May 28th 2011, Wike served as the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt and was appointed the Director-General of Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s re-election Campaign Organization. On the 14th of July 2011, Wike was subsequently appointed and sworn-in as the Minister of State for Education by former President Goodluck Jonathan. He was elected as governor of the state on the platform of People Democratic Party (PDP) after the 2015 general elections.