Wike Vows to Return Port Harcourt to Garden City Status 


  Meets environmental sanitation service providers 

Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

Governor of  Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, yesterday vowed to return Port Harcourt to its Garden City status and subsequently called for a meeting with environmental sanitation service providers, to discuss issues of returning the capital city to its original status.

He also signed into law: Rivers State Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor (Prohibition) Bill No. 8 of 2019, Rivers State Healthcare Facilities Registration Bill No. 6 of 2019 and Rivers State Environmental Protection and Management Bill No. 7 of 2019.

Giving his assent to the bills at the Government House Port Harcourt, Wike said the state government was committed to entrenching good governance and the rule of law. 

The governor said the state government would diligently implement the Rivers State Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Park (Prohibition) Law to clean up Port Harcourt and its environs. 

“We have vowed to bring Port Harcourt back to its Garden City status. This law will help us stop illegal street trading, illegal motor parks and illegal markets within the city centre. 

“We are not going to allow the littering of the state capital. In the next few weeks, people will see improvements in Port Harcourt,” he assured.

The governor directed the state Attorney General to officially approach the Chief Judge of Rivers State for the appointment of Magistrates for the Mobile Courts.

He said: “We have six mobile courts, so as they arrest offenders, they will be tried and sentenced by the courts. We didn’t start implementation because there was no law.”

Wike said the state government had employed workers to fully implement the law.

He stated that the 400 workers would work in shifts till 8p.m. every day to ensure that nobody engaged in street trading, illegal markets and illegal motor parks. 

On the environmental law, Wike said the state government would work towards improving the environmental sanitation of the state. 

He said: “We are spending N6 billion to evacuate waste annually. Even at that, people carelessly dump refuse on the road.

“This time, if you generate refuse, you will pay government to clear it. The Honourable Attorney General has been directed to prepare a bill to be sent to the House of Assembly over these environmental issues,” he said.

Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ikuinyi Ibani, said the Rivers State Assembly was pleased with the achievements of the Rivers State governor, hence  they would continue to support his administration. 

He said the three laws were focused on enhancing the living standard of Rivers people and that what the state governor was doing in collaboration with the assembly would lift the state ahead of others.

Earlier, the Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Martins Amaewhule, presented the three bills to Wike for assent.

Meanwhile, Wike has relieved the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Mr. Samuel Eguma, of his appointment with immediate effect. 

The governor said the action was to serve as deterrent to other government officials who spend funds without approval. 

Wike has also said he would meet with all environmental sanitation service providers of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) on Monday, August 5 at the Government House, Port Harcourt by 11a.m.

A statement yesterday said any service provider that fails to attend the meeting would have himself to blame.