Rivers State Governor, Southsouth Nigeria, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has signed into law the state 2012 Appropriation Bill of N438 billion, as passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly.

He pledged to ensure full implementation of the state’s 2012 budget in order to provide democracy dividends to the people.

Governor Amaechi gave the assurance in Government House, Port Harcourt, Wednesday after signing the 2012 budget.

Governor Amaechi thanked the state’s lawmakers for scrutinising the budget estimates he presented to them last year.

He said, “I thank you for the scrutiny and I assure you (legislators) and Rivers people that this budget will be implemented to the fullest…”

Meanwhile, the additional N11 billion to the original budget estimate by the state legislature has elicited the anger of the Rivers State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.

The party says the only way Governor Amaechi can convince the short-changed Rivers people that the additional N11 billion to the proposed N427 billion is not a conspiracy between him and the lawmakers is to reject the additional amount.

In a press statement the Publicity Secretary of the party, Jerry Needam said the action of the lawmakers is unprecedented, self-serving and criminal.

The statement further noted that what the lawmakers’ action portends is that they are better visionaries and valuers of the projects and programmes that informed the initial budget proposal than the initiator (Governor Amaechi) himself.

More worrisome, ACN spokesman said, is tying the additional money to no specific project which means they have an ulterior motive in doing what they did.

—Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

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