22nd October, 2021
By Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
A gas turbine generator unit and accessories ordered by the Rivers state government have been abandoned in The Netherlands since 2012.
The scandal emerged at the meeting of the state executive council, where it was resolved that the contractor, SAIPEM Contracting Nigeria Limited be sued.
The government said it will initiate criminal proceeding against Saipem for breach of trust.
The contract must have been awarded in the Rotimi Amaechi era.
Kelvin Ebiri, Special Assistant (Media) to the Rivers State Governor said the decision to file criminal proceeding against Saipem was taken at the 15th Executive Council meeting at Government House in Port Harcourt.
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike chaired the meeting.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, the Commissioner for Power, Damiete Herbert-Millier explained that due to the abandonment of the gas turbine generator unit and accessories by Saipem, the Rivers state government had incurred huge loss in terms of demurrage charges and others.
“Consequently, the council unanimously directed the Attorney General of Rivers State to file criminal proceeding against Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited for her role in this ugly incident.”
The State Executive Council also approved the reconstruction of two roads, Oyigbo-Okoloma and Chokocho-Igbodo totaling 46.5km.
The Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the Oyigbo-Okoloma project scope is 19.4km long at the cost of N11.483 Billion.
He further stated that the reconstruction of Chokocho-Igbodo Road is 27.1km, awarded at a cost of N13.523 Billion. According to him, the two projects are expected to be completed within twelve months.
Commissioner for Finance, Isaac Kamalu, said the council gave approval for the Rivers State medium term expenditure framework 2022-2024.
Kamalu said council also approved the State participation in the Federal government and Nigerian Governors’ Forum supported bridging finance support facility for subnational economies designed to cushion the impact of the repayment of the bailout.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, Alabo George-Kelly said the council approved the award of contract for the construction of the Rivers State Magistrate Court Complex at the cost of N8.1 Billion.
He said the project include the construction of 24 Magistrate courts, which will be housed in four two storey structures, three floors each.