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Assessment: 14 Poorly Performed Rivers

Worried by the snail speed of development across the length and breadth of Rivers State under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, few weeks ago this weekly carried out an independent investigation to assess the various ministries charged with the responsibilities of igniting development in the state.

This unbiased assessment carried out by our team of reporters is not to witch hunt any politician or public office holder or public administrator, but to expose and highlight some of the areas the state government’s attention is most needed.

It is very disheartening to say that, our assessment revealed most of the commissioners in charge of the state ministries are not performing. Their ministries are facing several challenges due to their inability on to tackle issues bordering their portfolios.

Unfortunately their engagement would terminate in less than a 100 days ahead, meaning they have exhausted all they could offer.

Going by our assessment some of them are not fit to handle government parastatals or ministries, because of their “anyhow” attitude.

Our independent investigation and assessment however, shown that fourteen (14) commissioners working with Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi are performing their statutory functions poorly. These commissioners as contained in our assessment reports are:

EMMANUEL CHINDA: He is the Commissioner in charge of the state Ministry of Agriculture. The agricultural sector in the state is nothing to write home about. The Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture is in the state of comatose as farmers and fishermen are relegated to the background. The state cannot boast of any better agricultural programme and policy. Nothing is moving in that ministry, as the price of Agric produce in the state has gone beyond the reach of the common man. Our team scored the commissioner a very low mark of 15% performance.

CHARLES OKAYE: He oversees the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Community Affairs. But it is very sad to state here that Hon. Charles Okaye has failed to handle problems rocking the chieftaincy institution in Rivers. Chieftaincy “wahala” has caused untold hardship in several Rivers communities. In handling community Affairs, Hon. Charles Okaye has done below the expectation of the masses. Our team scored him 10%, because of the manner and the way in which he is responding to issues concerning chieftaincy and community affairs.

ALICE LAWRENCE-NEMI: A woman that is in charge of the affairs of the Rivers State Ministry of Education. Our assessment team reported that despite the construction of several model primary and secondary schools, most of the schools are not well equipped. Pupils are sitting on bare floor learning in Government Schools.

Besides this, on several occasions the ministry has been intangible with alleged fraud in connection to oversea scholarship. Of recent it was reported that students sent to Germany for studies returned home empty handed. The oversea scholarship programme is in mess as the Ministry is unable to tackle problems facing Rivers students abroad. The commissioner has failed in discharge of her duties. Our assessment team gave her 20%.

PATRICIA SIMON-HART: She is the Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development. According to our assessment the ministry under her watch could be best described as a “grave yard”. It is a dried ministry, where no government activity takes place.

The ministry is not functioning. The public taps are dried long time ago. Her rural development policy is zero as several local communities or rural areas are facing negative development. Rural dwellers across the state are living in abject poverty as their communities are under developed. Thus positive development agents such as water supply, electricity and other social amenities are absence in the rural areas. Our assessment team rated her 5%, due to her very poor performance.

HON. OWENE WONODI: He is in charge of the Ministry of Youths Development. Our findings shown that inspite the huge allocation received by the Ministry on monthly basis, Hon. Owene Wonodi has created little or no positive impact on the Rivers youths. The youths have been roaming the streets of Port Harcourt, because the commissioner has nothing good to offer them.

Our findings further shown that the commissioner is busying politicking as he is eyeing the Mayor seat in the Port Harcourt City Local Government Area. He constantly has a face-off with some Directors in the ministry, due to his funny behavior. Our assessment team scored him 10.5%.

  1. IPALIBO HARRY: He is the Commissioner for Employment Generation and Empowerment. The Ministry has very low empowerment programme. During the assessment tour reliable sources hinted our team that the ministry is ineffective in generating employment in the state. Some Directors in the ministry who pleaded anonymity told our team that they are uncomfortable with the way and the manner Dr. Ipalibo Harry is administering the affairs of the ministry. Our assessment team scored him 10%, because of his inability to bring changes in the lives of the youths.

HON. SAMUEL EYIBA: He heads the State Ministry of Local Government Affairs. No doubt, Hon. Eyiba lacks the administrative ability to pilot the affairs of this sensitive ministry. Most Rivers councils are conduit pipes to siphon public funds meant for community development. Hon. Eyiba’s ministry is doing nothing about the non-challant attitude of the council chairmen towards the development of their respective LGAs. The assessment team awarded him 15% because of his laziness to lead the ministry well.

  1. SAMPSON PARKER: He is the Rivers State Commissioner for Health. Most of the Rivers Hospitals and Health centres are not functioning, especially in the rural communities.

There are no drugs, nurses and other health officers in most of the hospitals, even the so called free medical care is not in existence in so many cases. There is high rate of child immortality in the local areas, as people do not have access to health facilities.

As a result of poor health care delivery system, barely three (3) weeks ago, there was an outbreak of cholera epidemic that claimed several lives in some riverine communities in the state. Dr. Sampson Parker has performed poorly in the discharge of his functions. The assessment team scored him 25%, as a result of the ways health centres are being managed.

JOE POROMA: He heads the Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation. The state cannot boast of any better social policy or programme. Citizens who need help from the state because of one condition or the other, do not get it, due to absence of articulated social welfare scheme.

Ex-militants and former cultists, who are supposed to go for rehabilitation are roaming about doing nothing. Our assessment team scored him 5%, due to his poor performance.

VICTOR GIADOM: He is the Commissioner for Works. Though the present administration is aggressive with construction of roads and building of bridges and schools. Most of the projects have been abandoned by the contractors, may be due to non-availability of funds.

This shows that the commissioner is ineffective in overseeing the affairs of his ministry. Because several works have been abandoned.

For instance: Egbelu/Ogbogoro Rd, Eagle Island link road, Trans-Kalabari High Way. Sources which spoke with this publication during our assessment tour called on the Works Commissioner to be up and doing, saying that his ministry is suffering what they called “maladministration”. The assessment team rated him 10.5%.

GEORGE TOLOFARI: He is the commissioner in charge of the Rivers State Ministry of Transport. This is a dead ministry, as it creates no positive impact on the Rivers citizens. The most terrible blunder his ministry committed is the construction of the multi-billion naira mono rail project. This is a white elephant project. The state Ministry of Transport could not boast of effective transportation system operating in the state. Such ministry cannot claim that it satisfies the yearning and aspirations of the Rivers people. Therefore, our assessment team scored him 5%.

AUGUSTINE NWOKOCHA: He is the Commissioner for Power. From our assessment his ministry is in the state of coma, where little or nothing is functioning. 85% of the communities in Rivers State do not have power supply. The so called celebrated Omoku and Trans-Amadi Gas Turbines are not supplying the needed power.

As far as this assessment report is concerned, the Power Ministry is doing nothing in the state. Power supply within and outside the state capital is not frequent, as residents are always in darkness.

Private power generating sets have taken over the entire state. Due to the insensitivity of the commissioner to the plights of the masses, as regards to effective restoration of power, our assessment team scored him 10%.

CHAMBERLAIN PETERSIDE: He is the head of the Ministry of Finance in Rivers State. His administrative ability in managing the finances of the state is low. Moreso, his Ministry is not prudent in allocating funds to projects that will not benefit the masses.

The state is broke and grounded financial. Workers have not been paid, due to the poor financial management. The commissioner scores 15% as contained in our assessment report.

WORGU BOMS: He is the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice. The judiciary system in the state becomes moribund in his administration. He is unable to control the affairs of the judiciary; hence the court workers in the state have been on strike in the past eight (8) months. As a lawyer, on several occasions, he has failed to interpret the law of the land correctly, rather he interprets it to suit the desire of his political pay master, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Our assessment teams scored him 5.4%. ###

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