Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has revealed that no governor should link the lack of development in their respective states to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wike made this assertion on Thursday, during a facility tour of the ultramodern Government House hospital and Administrative building in Port Harcourt by the Senate Chief Whip and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
According to him, the Rivers State government would ensure that its populace enjoys basic infrastructure like roads due to its connection to higher economic productivity, growth, and trade.
He said: “Covid-19 cannot be an excuse to any government. COVID -19 is a bad thing, but it has come. It will go whether we like it or not. But people will also be alive.
“Infrastructure must be provided, so you can’t say because of COVID 19 nothing will be done. At the time COVID 19 ends, what will the people be facing? Lack of basic infrastructure. So, because of COVID19, I am not going to be doing anything? I am not a party to that. I will continue to work whether there is COVID-19 or not.”
Wike explained his administration had conscientiously been investing in infrastructure that had positive economic value to stimulate job creation, boost foreign direct investment in the State.
He further explained that these investments have been achievable due to the government’s judicious application of resources to meet the pressing needs of the people.
He said: “You manage whatever you have for the interest of the people. Infrastructure brings investments. Part of the problem we have in this country today is the decay of infrastructure. We don’t have it and that also affects investment inflow. So, when these roads are there, you will see people will come in. You don’t expect a private investor to begin to do the road for you. It is not possible.
“You want to do agriculture, there is no road. How can we do agriculture when there is no road? How will the product be brought to the city, to the market? So, you must provide these basic infrastructures for investment inflow and that is what we are doing.”
In his remarks, Kalu said Wike’s deliberate investment in crucial infrastructure was commendable.
He said: “All the facilities I have seen here is first class. This is what I can’t even see in Europe. The hospital I have seen, the doctors’ room, the conference centre is something else. I must commend Governor Wike. You see I am a bipartisan person. We need to commend anybody who has done a good job. He is PDP, I am APC.”
He implored the Federal, State, and Local authorities to urgently consider it worthwhile to emulate the Rivers State government by investing in an ultramodern hospital like the one built by the Wike’s administration.
According to him, this will help to curtail the huge foreign exchange expended on medical tourism.
He said: “I advise every other State governor or the local authorities and national authorities to build hospitals like this. If you know how much we spend on medical tourism, you will pity this country.”