Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State says 2021 avails Nigerians the opportunity to reflect on the last twelve months and look forward to the challenges and opportunities of the New Year with renewed faith and optimism.
In his message to the people of Rivers State, Governor Wike said a mismanaged national economy in recession made worse by a brutal coronavirus pandemic, escalated insecurity, corruption, and socio-political tensions in 2020 and made life truly horrible for millions of struggling families and ordinary Nigerians.
The governor further stated that the poor state of the nation’s economy and its aftershocks of dwindling revenues, rising inflation, poverty, and unemployment also affected Rivers as a State.
He however noted that his government strove and reasonably advanced its development agenda and efforts at building a financially responsible and socially equitable State.
Accordingly, 2020 also proved to be a very busy and eventful year for our State, especially in project execution and delivery of social services to our people.
“As customary, we initiated and completed a record number of development projects with tremendous socioeconomic impact while several others, including the multi-billion naira flyovers, received reasonable funding and construction attention in 2020.
“As you know, some of the completed projects were inaugurated earlier this month while several more completed projects, including the Mother and Child hospital, the Real Madrid Academy new buildings, the Okoro-Nu-Odo flyover, the Sakpewa – Bori dual carriageway, the Abonnema ring road, the 10-kilometer Bolo internal roads, and the Eteo – Sime – Nowan – Kira road are due for inauguration from the 4th of January 2021.
“Our agenda for the State has been clear from the very beginning, and far from the misguided views of some of our critics, we are not reworking old recipes in our development efforts.
“Rather, we are surely and pragmatically addressing the critical concerns of our people, including the sustenance of peace and security, education and affordable healthcare, fixing our infrastructural deficit, and driving better economic growth and social progress for our State than is generally acknowledged.
“Today, we express our gratitude to God and our people not only for the opportunity to serve but also for the achievements we have recorded which now forms the foundations for our drive towards greater levels of development, economic growth, better life, and secured future for our people,” Wike’s statement partly read.
The governor conceded that there’s much more to be done to realize a Rivers State which the people dream of, one with fabulous infrastructures, quality education, affordable healthcare, and boundless economic opportunities for all who live in it.
He promised his government will continue in 2021 to focus on the fundamental task of creating a new Rivers State through prudent, efficient, and transparent management of available resources.
“Essentially, we shall continue to upgrade and expand educational infrastructures and services across all levels of the education system.
“There is no better guarantee for the future progress of our State and the nation than to ensure that every child has realistic access to the transformational light of education and skills acquisition.
“We shall also continue to prioritize healthcare delivery and ensure that everyone has access to affordable primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare services.
“We, therefore, commit to completing all ongoing and new healthcare infrastructures, including the five zonal tertiary hospitals and the proposed specialist hospital for the treatment of cancer, kidney, and cardiovascular diseases.
“In the same vein, we shall continue to give focused attention to the State’s physical and economic infrastructure and ensure that we deliver fabulous roads, bridges, and flyovers to connect all parts of our State to ease the movement of goods and services, enhance economic growth and accelerate the development of the State.
“Along with quality education, affordable health care, and transport infrastructures, we shall also focus on creating a more robust business environment to stimulate economic growth, empowerment and create tangible jobs for our people.
“We also wish to restate our commitment to recruiting 5000 youths into the State’s public service in 2021 to reduce the unemployment rate and give the beneficiaries a new ease of life,” Governor Wike stated.
He warned citizens of the state regarding the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Rivers.
According to the governor, this makes it necessary to remind everyone of their responsibility to adhere strictly to the existing protocols on compulsory wearing of face masks, maintenance of social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, and the regular use of hand sanitizers so that we can reasonably prevent the rate of transmission and avoid needless deaths from the disease.
Governor Wike further expressed dismay over the continued flouting of the ban on trading, the creation of illegal motor parks, taxi ranks, and mechanic workplaces as well as the erection of illegal kiosks along our streets and other public spaces.
“Apart from constituting a public nuisance, these activities and structures obstruct traffic flow and pose serious threats to public safety and security to the extent no responsible government can tolerate,” Wike stressed.
With the grace period, the governor noted that there will be no other option than to order an immediate clampdown and put a final stop to the illegal operations from the 4th of January 2021.
Governor Wike urged citizens of Rivers Stater to eschew recriminations, “turn a new page on the hatred that has kept the state divided, forgive one another and together, work towards making our dear State the best place on earth to live, do business and bring up our children”.
According to Wike, the challenge before Rivers State on this New Year’s remains how the people can work together to overcome the roadblocks to progress and to build a State that holds the concrete promise of hope for the present and future generations.
He urged the people to start a new chapter of cooperation, togetherness, and solidarity and in one accord unleash their potentials on the development of the State and better the lots of the people, adding that there is no goal Rivers State cannot achieve if her people remain united.
Wike thanked all leaders, traditional rulers, elder statesmen, religious leaders, party chieftains, opinion leaders, men, women, youths, and the press for their continued support, prayers, and understanding and reassured all of his government’s commitment to serving then people, as collectively the future desired for Rivers State is built.
While wishing everyone a prosperous, blessed, and happy New Year, the governor encouraged all Riverians to recommit themselves to the new Rivers Vision by working together under God’s guidance to make 2021 truly remarkable and fulfilling for Rivers State.
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