GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has explained why he sacked his Commissioner for Environment, Igbiks Tamuno.
Wike said he took the action because the Commissioner unilaterally took a critical decision considered as sabotage against the Rivers State Government.
He said Tamuno ordered Julius Berger to stop work in Rivers State in a letter he wrote to the company, wondering how a Commissioner would have such powers without interfacing with even the Ministry of Works.
“I don’t know how a commissioner can write to a company to stop work without my approval. And Julius Berger for that matter, to stop construction in the entire state. I have never heard of such before. I didn’t know commissioners had so much power. I’m saying it because some of you don’t even know the limits of your power,” the Governor said.
“These are contractors working for the state government. He (Tamuno) never interfaced with the Ministry of Works. We have paid Julius Berger and you ask them to stop work so that they will come and ask for variation later?” he queried.
Wike, who spoke shortly after signing contracts for the construction of more major roads in the state, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, said the new roads, including the Trans-Kalabari Road Phase 1, and the Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono Road, Phase 2 projects, showed the importance his administration attached to opening up more rural communities for development.
He said, “Many have said all these things are political statements. We want to let you know that they are not political. We are serious about it. If there is one road that must be completed within time, it is the Trans-Kalabari Road.
“It is very key to us, to link up so many communities within the Kalabari area. So, we have tied our funds to these roads. Every month, you don’t need to come to us or write to us to say you’ve done 50 metres, 100metres or 1 kilometre, no.”
The Governor said the money, N1bn each, would be paid directly to the contractors monthly by the banks.
“For the Trans-Kalabari road, which is about N13 billion. We believe that you have no excuse not to finish the road in 14 months. I am going to commission those roads next year,” he stated.