The Rivers state budget has continued to generate controversy, several months after it became an act of parliament. This stems from the fact that the document which had been
hidden from the public for a very long time, has now become a privileged information with the government fighting so hard to justify their action in the face of convincing and genuine criticisms from the public.
In the last edition of TNN, it was reported that Wike's security vote gulped N55bn while yet-to-be known government house projects has N35billion allocation. From the 2018 government house budget for Rivers state, the rehabilitation of the governor's residence and the renovation and furnishing of the brick house has the highest share of N700million each.
And the question is, what items of work in the brick house and governor's residence require such fat amount for its rehabilitation and renovation when retirees are dying because their pensions have not been paid?
Closely following the furnishing of escort's office, furnishing of governor's office, furnishing of main office block and furnishing of new residential lodge. Each of these items of the budget was voted a whooping sum of N200m.
Again, the question of credibility comes up. What items are the escorts' office, governor's office, main office block and residential lodge to be furnished with that each is assigned a fat sum of N200m?
From the budget, the reconstruction of the drivers' bay is to gulp N150m, while the furnishing of banquet hall of Government House takes N110m. The same issue is playing out here, and all through the 'hidden' budget.
The furnishing of Her Excellency's office takes N100m, the same amount was allocated to furnish the new presidential lodge annex.
The security gates, according to the budget, are to be refurbished and equipped with N30m, while the renovation and furnishing of Government House auditorium is to take N20m.
From the budgetary allocations to the Government House, virtually every part of the Government House would either be refurbished, furnished, equipped, renovated or rehabilitated.