Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has bragged that he can give account of the huge monthly security votes that he draws from the coffers of the state.
Wike who was speaking during the handing over of 14 gunboats to security services in Port Harcourt on Friday, said equipping security services with needed infrastructure and logistics is among the things his security votes are used for. He, however, did not say how much he collects as monthly security votes.
He said even though funding the security services was the exclusive duty of the Federal Government, the state government would not stand by and watch security degenerate in the state without intervening.
But he expressed regrets that some of the gunboats Rivers State Government donated to the armed forces to fight crime in the state were diverted to other states.
The governor said apart from the gunboats it gave out on Friday, the state government would soon donate more than 100 Hilux Security vans to the police to help fight crime in the state.
He said seven of the gunboats unveiled on Friday would go to the Navy, three to the army, two to the police and one to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps. He urged the services to use the boats in the interest of Nigeria to fight illegal bunkering and sea piracy.
He said the if the security services decide to end illegal bunkering and piracy, they would end. He regretted that illegal oil bunkering was thriving because members of the armed services were involved in them.
He said improved security will bolster social and economic activities in the state, improve the health of the people and save the environment from destruction by operators of illegal refineries.
He criticised NNPC Limited for failing to provide infrastructure in the state which along with other oil producing states produce 80 percent of the national income.
“NNPC has failed to collaborate with the states in terms of security. It has done roads in other states but not in Rivers State. Come and do something for Rivers State,” Wike challenged NNPC.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Awwal Gambo, thanked the governor for supporting the Navy to ensure maritime security in the state and disclosed that Nigeria has been removed from the list of piracy-prone states because of improved security in Nigerian waters.