Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday said his administration would henceforth focus on welfare and empowerment schemes, otherwise known as “stomach infrastructure”.
Wike: It’s time for stomach infrastructure in Rivers
He said having spent the better part of his administration providing physical infrastructure, he would now focus on poverty alleviation.
Wike spoke during the opening of the Oro-Abali Flyover at the Kaduna Street Junction along the Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
He said: “Now that we have done virtually everything we have promised Rivers people, this is the time we have to play politics of stomach infrastructure.
“What people do not understand; people think when you are in government, from the first day, you should be sharing money. I said I won’t do that.
“I have to work for the people of the state. Now that we have worked, the remaining period will be to feed your stomach.”
He explained that his administration prioritised laying a solid foundation for the state through the provision of quality social services and the delivery of infrastructure to attract more investors.
He said nobody would accuse his government of not delivering projects, improving the security situation and promoting peaceful coexistence within the state.
Wike said welfare remained an important aspect of the politics of governance because it entailed a form of empowerment of the people economically.
He said: “There is time for everything. Now, the time has come. We have to start to empower our people. The em
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“So, every local government, every community will have a pattern of how we are to empower our people.
“As a government, when there is unemployment, some people bring out what they called welfare scheme to be able to cushion the level of poverty in the society. That is what we are going to apply here.”
Wike said his administration would dualise the Iloabuchi Road that transverses Mile 1 and Mile 2 axis of Diobu in Port Harcourt.
He said it could be the last project his administration would deliver in the area before the end of his tenure.
Inaugurating the Oro-Abali Flyover, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed noted Wike’s records in his second tenure.
He said: “What he is doing in terms of urban renewal is something I can say is only comparable to what is in Abuja.
“The difference of this is that this is being planned in a manner that is really judiciously using Rivers money without any burden of loan.
“There is a very clear achievable timeline and of course, with a very beautiful procurement process.”
Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi, said the flyover was an additional infrastructure provided by the Wike administration to solve the traffic situation in Port Harcourt and its environs.
He said the dualised flyover would make commuting easier, support and promote commerce.
Managing Director of Julius Berger, Lars Richter, commended the Rivers state government for allowing the company to be part of the ongoing infrastructural transformation of the state.
powerment is for those who have been patient.