The immediate past governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, has refuted claims by his successor, Nyesom Wike, that he left an empty treasury after his administration.
Mr. Amaechi was responding to claims by Opunabo Inko-Tariah, Mr. Wike’s Spokesperson, during a radio programme in Port Harcourt on Wednesday that his principal met an empty treasury when he took over government.
“A total of N7.5 billion cash were left behind as balances in the State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) account with Skye Bank, FAAC account with Zenith Bank, balances with Access Bank and funds in the State reserve fund account in First Bank,” Mr. Amaechi said in a statement by his media office, Thursday.
“This is besides other balances in the state Government House account with Zenith Bank and other government MDA accounts, like the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP).
“By the time you pull all these together, we are looking at readily available cash in the region of eight to ten billion naira left for the Wike administration.”
Mr. Wike, who defeated who defeated Dakuku Peterside of Mr. Amaechi’s All Progressives Congress, has consistently stated that he met an empty treasury upon assumption of office.
The governor belongs to the Peoples Democratic Party.
Last June, barely one month after taking over as governor, Mr. Wike had said that only one revenue account with Sterling Bank had some funds left by Mr. Amaechi’s administration.
“I want to say on good authority that we did not meet N7 billion, as being speculated. The state’s FAAC account as at May 29 was in debit. That was the briefing I received from the Accountant-General,” Mr. Wike had said during a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the state government, Julius Berger Plc, and CCECC for the rehabilitation of 33 kilometre of roads in Port Harcourt.
In his statement on Thursday, Mr. Amaechi said that he did not only leave cash for his successor but also economic assets.
“These assets that are scattered in diverse sectors of the economy were developed or built or procured with revenue that accrued to the state during Amaechi’s tenure,” the former governor said.
“The assets belong to Rivers State, not Amaechi. Some of these assets are presently yielding revenue to the state coffers, and many can be easily and readily converted to cash, if the State so desires.”
Mr. Amaechi further stated that it was “disingenuous and fraudulent” for Mr. Wike to claim that he met an empty treasury to justify the N30 billion loans he took within his first 30 days in office.
“Rather than this puerile and silly distraction of always pointing accusing fingers at Amaechi, Wike should come out to explain to Rivers people what he took the loans for, account for and justify every kobo that has been spent from the loans.”
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