Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that he decided to take loans after he assumed office in order to pay backlog of salaries owed workers and complete some abandoned projects in the state.
He pointed out that it would have been difficult for his administration to pay contractors if he had waited for the next federal allocation.
He explained that since he met an empty treasury on the assumption of office as the state governor in May, the loans helped him to kick-start the new administration with contractors mobilized back to project sites.
Stressing that every loan taken by his government was tied to specific projects with verifiable and workable repayment plan, Wike stated that the issue of unpaid pensions, overseas students’ allowances had been resolved.
The governor was reacting to criticism by the All Progressives Congress that his administration took N30bn loan in 30 days.
He noted that there wouldn’t have been any need for the loans if the immediate past APC administration in the state had been prudent in the management of the state’s resources. Wike, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, said, “Rotimi Amaechi in one of his valedictory speeches admitted that the state is broke and he is bequeathing an empty treasury to Governor Wike.
“We inherited an empty treasury festered by huge pecuniary liabilities such as backlog of salaries, pensions, fees for students on scholarships and a plethora of other burning issues, including abandoned projects. “Therefore, there is nothing wrong with the governor going for loans; the issue is not whether loans are taken, but the judicious application of such loans is what should be the issue”.
He added that the APC was paranoid by the fact that he was performing creditably to the admiration and satisfaction of the people of Rivers.