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Governor Amaechi’s Unprecedented Style Of Projects Monitoring

It is believed that nonchalant attitude in projects monitoring by government officials has also contributed to under development of the Nigerian State. And this trend has caused huge monumental waste of the resources of the State and the nation. So many projects have been left abandoned without cogent reasons for decades in the state and in the entire nation. It is obvious that any project abandoned cannot meet the purpose for which it was originally implemented in the first instance.
Indeed, the Rivers State Government low cost housing project embarked upon since the first tenure of the previous administration in 1999 has been abandonment in Local Government areas till date. Some that were built, never adhered to specifications, thereby giving room for lack of vision and derailing from real objectives of government. In the 80’s almost every community in Rivers State benefited from the Government of Rivers State rural electrification project embarked upon by then chief, Senator, Melford Okilo’s administration. There was award of contract for secondary school building projects in virtually every community by then. But the projects were all abandoned, thereby making the people to doubt the Government each time contracts are awarded.
The Aluminum Silting Company built in the 90’s by the military administration of General Sani Abacha at lkot Abasi, in Akwa Ibom State, is still not functional till-date. But billions of naira have been spent in a bid to create employment opportunities and in the same vein make aluminum products available to the people. Such a lofty and economic purpose-driven project should be given first-hand monitoring. What about roads? They are abandoned everywhere in the country and funny enough, money for the execution of such projects have been paid and contract papers signed.
No wonder, this is what prompted Government Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to adopt self-style approach of projects monitoring in Rivers State. And it is working for the rivers State Government. The governor does not believe in reported speech in terms of getting information of the on-going projects in the State. It is a well-known story in Rivers State that governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi rides power bike to monitor projects uninformed. This singular approach has made some contractors to sit up. There are some contractors with this negative mindset that any project cited in the rural areas of the state is subject to be abandoned. But that is not true in this dispensation.
For instance, there is a place called Ebukuma in Andoni Local Government Area where almost all the government projects were abandoned many years ago. But surprisingly in this administration, one of the fastest built model primary schools is in Ebukuma Town. The repeat of the past did not come on board again. That is because the Government of Rivers State under the leadership of Amaechi has a target to achieve by the end of the administration.
Indeed, in this era criticism of Government policies is high compared to what has happened some years ago. Observationally, no media house was sealed or closed down by this present government. Even at that the press should not be carried away by governor Amaechi’s pragmatic approach to issues in the state. The press must still be the watch-dog of the society. It is believed that without the press the public will not know what the government is doing right or wrong.
The governor of Rivers State is fond of supervising projects awarded by the Government at his volition. That was why he surprised the people at the Lagos bus stop, Aggrey and the people in Bende Street in Port Harcourt Township. On the said day, precisely, on Saturday, 2nd of June 2012, Governor Amaechi was not with a long convoy and without siren. He was driving himself and at the same time smiling with people. It was an uncommon thing in Rivers State to observe the Governor doing that in the streets of the capital city, Port Harcourt. It was a sight to behold as the security aides were quiet while people were watching the Governor.
Indeed, the convoy was only four cars and the Governor was the one leading it. It is like watching president Barak Obama of the United States and David Cameron, British prime minister, playing tennis in London. It is strange in Nigeria to see such as there is a big gulf separating the leaders from the citizens. And this is the vacuum Governor Amaechi is trying to fill. That is an example that in Nigeria we can feel our leaders. Recently in the US, president Barak Obama hosted his predecessor George Walker Bush in White House. Bush became a dramatist and orator as he was entertaining the audience. Such is lacking in leadership in Nigeria; where citizens cannot relate with their leaders without any aggression.
Nigerians expect their leaders to smile with them without rancour. Yes, the unprecedented style of monitoring projects by the Governor in Rivers State will cause fast development of the State. For instance, the way the governor, Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi drove to Port Harcourt Township on 2nd June to monitor projects in the zone was friendly. That alone has given him popularity without any announcement on radio or television. And this singular gesture will cause the contractors handling projects in the area to go to site immediately without sanction. Rivers people need more uninformed visits to projects sites as to make contractors meet the time frame. It is a common thing in Nigeria to see a project of two years taking six years or more before completion. And that is why the unprecedented approach of Governor Amaechi in projects monitoring is eulogized and commended in Rivers State.

Frank Eneawail Ogwuonuonu

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