Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has told newly sworn-in chairmen of the 23 Local Government Areas of the State not to approach any financial bank to borrow money without first clearing with the state government.
The governor gave the warning shortly after the elected chairmen of the 23 Local Government Areas of the State took their oath of office at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday.
According to Governor Wike, the caution has become necessary in order to stem unguarded desire of some council chairman to access money without any development plan.
“Don’t go and borrow money without the state government approval. Some of you tried it last time and started with your blackmail, saying help us, we are finished.”
You have no authority to go and borrow money. Even we as State government, before we go and borrow money we get approval from the Debt Management Office. No bank will even give us.
“Before you borrow money, the State must know what you want to use it for, and how you will pay it back. So, that others who are coming will not suffer because of your indebtedness.”
Governor Wike also charged the council chairmen to pay proper attention to issues of security in order to stem likely security breaches in their various councils.
The governor particularly urged them to establish a robust working relationship both with the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and the Traditional Rulers that will engender having regular security meetings for proper briefings.
“Stay in your council areas. Don’t stay in hotels and in Port Harcourt. If you’re not at home, how do you know about the security situation in your local government. Security is key,” Wike said.
The Governor said;
“Relate with your DPOs. It does not cost you anything. Even if it cost you, governance is not easy. Governance is expensive. Security is expensive. Some of you cannot relate with the DPOs. It’s only when you have a problem that you relate with your DPOs and some of them are intelligent and when you call them that time, they turn their face the other way. You must make effort to relate with your DPOs.”
Wike urged the council chairmen to ensure they hold security council meeting weekly or better still, once in every two weeks for proper briefing.
Speaking further, Governor Wike warned them against embarking on needless travel outside of the state and the country without notifying the state government.