The Rivers State Government is to spend no less than two point seven billion naira to conduct local government council elections across the State.
This amount is part of over N400 billion budget estimate approved by the State Executive Council.
Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim dropped the hint while briefing news men on Monday.
An initial statement released to the press shortly after the Executive Council meeting shows that Government was projected to spend N478billion in 2021.
That statement which was broadcast by some radio stations monitored by the Port Harcourt Telegraph was hurriedly withdrawn.
It was however replaced by a fresh statement which disclosed that Government would spend N448 billion in the next fiscal year.
If the budget is approved without any adjustment by the Rivers State House of Assembly, the Rivers State Government would be spending the sum of Four Hundred and Forty Eight Billion, Six hundred and Sixty million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Three Thousand, Four Hundred Seventy Six Naira (N448,660,773.000) in 2021.

According to the Commissioner, a total sum of Two Billion, Seven Hundred and Forty Seven Million, Three Hundred and Fifty One Thousand, Four and Five Naira, Thirteen Kobo (N2,747,351,405.13) was approved for RSIEC.
RSIEC is expected to conduct the local government election in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution.
The Independent Electoral Commission has already commenced a sensitization exercise designed to prepare political parties as well as voters ahead of the local government elections billed for next year.
Within the PDP, there is already a scramble for all kinds of positions – the position of council chairmen, elected councillors, supervisory councillors among others.
Reports say the APC in Rivers State is not among political parties whose representatives are participating in the enlightenment exercise.
There are however indications that the APC appears to be watching the dance steps of the new helmsmen at the Commission.
Said a high level member of the APC, “The Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission has never in its history organized free and fair elections. This one will not be different.
“Votes won’t count and votes have never counted. Votes won’t count because Governor Nyesom Wike would not want votes to count.
“This whole thing about local government elections in Rivers State is a mere charade. They (I mean RSIEC) do not plan to put free and fair elections on the table.
“They would follow the old path, they may be cajoled to write results. That’s exactly what the people upstairs who have put them together want”, the APC source stated.
“Hon Justice Omereji must show capacity. He must prove that he has become Chairman of the Commission to organize credible elections that would be seen as free and fair.
“Look at INEC. The electoral body has grown into a body that can be trusted with the responsibility of ensuring that votes count. Will Omereji and his colleagues ensure that the votes of Rivers people count?
“We are not interested in the jamboree. We are interested in fairness, equity and justice. Given what is happening in the Rivers PDP, the PDP is not in a strong position to win any election, not to talk about winning elections in local areas which have no roads; areas which have been abandoned while the state governor builds flyovers.