Governor Rotimi Amaechi
Rivers State Government Monday said contrary to rumours making the rounds, the state was financially healthy and capable of executing development projects embarked upon by the present administration.
The state was reacting to insinuations that the state was not capable of completing its projects following a lull in the execution of some projects.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt, the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Chamberlain Peterside, said those peddling the rumours were people who did not have knowledge of the workings of government as an institution.
He explained that in state financial transactions, there were high and low times in cash flow, and said that that did not amount to a government being broke.
Chanberlain stressed that with the impressive internally generated revenue (IGR) and the monthly federal allocation, “there is no way we can say the state is broke”.
He disclosed that the state spends an average of about N8 billion monthly in its operations.
He said the amount was made up of about N6 billion on salaries, about N750 million on pensions and about N1 billion on overheads.
The Finance Commissioner also stated that the state’s monthly compulsory savings of N1 billion had hit the N34 billion mark and that the N250 billion bond applied for by the state was to drive the improvement of infrastructure in the state.
He said the administration of Governor Chibuike Amaechi had also modernised the payroll in the state and had flushed out ghost workers and ghost salaries in the state civil service.
He expressed optimism that the state business climate would be more conducive to businesses as the state had created a one-stop shop for business registration and sundry government transactions to reduce the bureaucracy and time for businesses.
He also said the state tax system was being modernised to make it tax payers-friendly, while efforts were being intensified to educate both tax payers and staff of the state Board of Internal Revenue to enhance the internally generated revenue of the state.