Rivers State Executive Council has received a brief on a released of N2 billion by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN)and not the requested N2.5 billion, as its Healthcare Intervention Fund support to the State.
Mr Isaac Kamalu, the State Commissioner for Finance disclosed this on Friday in a briefing to newsmen after the council meeting presided by Gov. Nyesom Wike in Government House Port Harcourt.
According to Kamalu,”Council was briefed on the earlier approved CBN Healthcare Intervention Fund wherein approval was granted that the Rivers State Government access the CBN N2.5 billion Healthcare Intervention Fund to the effect that the amount actually released by CBN is N2billion not N2.5billion as requested.
“And the N2 billion has been utilised for the payment of contractors in the respective medical institutions for which approval was sort and granted.
“That is, the Prof. Kersley Harrison Hospital, Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital and Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases Diagnostics and Treatment Centre,”he said.
Kamalu explained that with the provision of these medical services by the Rivers State government, the quest for medical tourism embarked upon by Nigerians to foreign countries will be reduced.
Furthermore, Mr Tasie Nwobueze, the State Commissioner for Housing,said Council approved the acquisition of all undeveloped and uncompleted buildings in the old and new Government Residential Areas (GRAs) in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
Tasie explained that the Council, had observed the long abandonment of those properties without attention, which now serve as hiding place for criminals and miscreants from where they constitute security risk to those who reside within the GRAs.
“And so, council had approved that all those undeveloped plots and uncompleted buildings in Old GRA and New GRA be acquired.
“Monetary payment will be paid to the owners as agreed with the government.
The Commissioner for Housing briefed further that Council had also approved that when the plots are acquired, they will be reallocated to indigenes of Rivers State and other residents who are in the state, and who are capable of redeveloping or developing them within a timeline of 12 months.
“And again, Council also approved that those reallocated these plots cannot resell these properties to anybody and if they do, Rivers State Government will revoke such allocation.”
Nwobueze pointed out that Council also confirmed rectification of any previous acquisition made by the State Government.
Nwobueze stated that the Council approved for the sale of the Rivers State Government owned former Riv-Bank Insurance building and premises that is located on plot 6,7 and 8 Orije Layout on the Port Aba Expressway to members of the public.
According to him, the Wike’s administration has reconstructed and developed the structure into a 7 storey office complex.
“The State Government took this decision having considered that the property will be better maintained by private investors. And that the funds invested by the Rivers State Government in reconstructing this 7 floors building can be recouped from the sale of this property.
“And that the proceeds from the sales of this property can be judiciously put into the execution of the numerous ongoing projects by the Rivers State government.”
On her part, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Mrs. Ifeyinwa Nwankpa said Council also approved the sale of Delta Hotel and Eight Catering Rest Houses in the State.