20th March, 2011
For the first time, Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has reacted toÂ the restoration of its 86 disputed oil wells to the state by the Supreme Court as he says that it means more development to the state.
Governor Amaechi, who stated this today at the Airforce Base, Port Harcourt shortly on arrival from Lagos, said with the restoration of the oil wells, the state government would be able to prosecute its free education and free health care projects religiously.
â€œThe Supreme Court judgment means more revenue, more development; at least, I will be comfortable that I can pay the childrenâ€™s school fees. That means that we can run free education, we can run free health careâ€.
He said the people of Rivers State are beneficiaries â€œespecially with the refund and the mighty work of God in putting on top of it an interest component. By the time we get the interest, the refund and all the resources available, we will be able to do more development for the peopleâ€, Governor Amaechi said.
The governor however stated that the Supreme Court did not grant one of the major reliefs sought by the state government, which was to set a technical method to decide the boundary between Rivers State and Akwa Ibom State.
â€œWhat transpired was that 172 oil wells were credited to Rivers State but to achieve a political solution, to enable Cross River get their 74 oil wells, the former President then, split the oil wells of Rivers State into two and gave Akwa Ibom 86 of our oil wells, not theirsâ€, he explained.
The State Chief Executive urged states to stop going through the back door to collect oil wells that does not belong to them in an attempt to have more revenue as it was not healthy for the South-South cooperation.
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt