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The Rivers State monorail project


Rivers State Monorail Project

Rivers State Monorail Project

The intention expressed by the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike to discontinue the monorail project because ‘Rivers people have told me not to touch the monorail project left behind by the other government’ is  wrong and, in the interest of the people, should not be given effect.

It is assumed that Governor Wike recognises the responsibility of his office, the cardinal point of which is the greatest good of all the people of Rivers State irrespective of any inclinations. It is assumed too that he will execute that office with the utmost nobility.

Apart from the fact that Governor Wike did not provide a shred of evidence, opinion poll or referendum result, to support his claim, it does not stand to reason that  the  prospective beneficiaries of  the project  would  suggest its cancellation.

That Wike would consider this course of action at all tells badly on his understanding of political leadership as a trust from the electorate to put the people’s interest above any other.

But, of course, lately, the story of political leadership in Rivers State has been characterised by immaturity and intolerable personalising  of  lofty  and serious  matters of state and of public interest. Governor Nyesom Wike and his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi, now Minister of Transportation, have both carried their political differences to irresponsible levels. This has resulted in such violence, in words and deeds, as has earned the state the unflattering tag of ‘Rivers of Blood.’
What manner of interpretation, for instance, can be given to one government’s description of its predecessor in such contemptuous, dismissive phrase as ‘the other government’?

It is trite to state that the principle of development strategy is anchored on some essentials. Following health and housing, transportation infrastructure is arguably the next human imperative and critical factor essential to development. Government is a continuum and it is to be expected that whoever is in charge has an abiding responsibility to make the  movement of people, goods, and services as easy as ever possible.

The economic, other benefits of light rail transportation system for intra-city purpose are so obvious that an argument in favour of it is unassailable.  It eases the movement of people and goods; it takes pressure off the roads and makes them last longer; it reduces the vehicular consumption of fossil fuel and in turn, the attendant environmental pollution. The list could go on.  In sum, a prudently, transparently-funded and efficiently managed monorail system in Rivers State or anywhere else, as proven from other climes, is a demonstrably wise investment in the economy and also the convenience of the  people.

The monorail project is, therefore, meant to serve the people of the state; it is neither personal to the governor who initiated it, nor his government.

Any government should be reminded of its constitutional duty. Section 14 (2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) states that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’ and to fulfill this is the only reason the people voted governments into power.

If the governor has reason to review the project on the grounds of prudence, transparency, design, or any other, he not only has the right to clear this up but should be encouraged to do so. But only with a clear and convincing aim of making the project serve its purpose even better.

In addition to the unreasonableness of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, abandoning the project would constitute a waste of public funds, which would be unacceptable especially at this time of scarcity. To seek to destroy everything for reasons that are more personal than reasoned policy is small-minded. And, it is not governance, not to talk of good governance.

Certainly, the game of politics has, in Rivers State, degenerated into personal wars at the terrible expense of the citizens and has claimed lives including that of a youth corps member on national service. This, again, is not acceptable.

The principal actors in Rivers State should, therefore, rise above petty politics and be leaders who act in the present for the good of the future.

Governor Nyesom Wike is privileged to be in office today and he has the chance to write his name in gold. This he will do only by shunning the distractions of partisan politics, putting himself at the service of all the people of Rivers State and doing all that will make life more abundant for them, including the completion and smooth operation of the monorail project.

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  • LagLon

    Err maybe he miss spoke. He should have said that he cannot complete it because he cannot afford it.

  • The Trib3sman

    Who ever wrote this article must be a hired hand and I am sure that the author has never visited Port Harcourt before.

  • Francis Ndubuisi

    Sure, I agree with the position of the last writer LagLon, that my amiable Governor Wike mis spoke what he did not tell the world was the fact that there was never a motorail as posited by the supporters of that Crazy Amaechi. I visited Port harcourt from the States and what I saw was an attempt by someone to defraud the State of Rivers some huge chunk of Money by that Rubish that started from the Post office and terminates before NDDC Aba Rd. and by this Amaechi earned the fantastic position of a Fed. minister of Transport..

    • Arabakpura

      If Wike is your “amiable”, what will the devil be to you? Sweetie Love?

      • Francis Ndubuisi

        You Insolence was uncalled for pls let us focus on the issue and be civil. No one here has a pact with the devil

        • Arabakpura

          No body has insulted you; I believe you should be able to enjoy a joke or two! Don’t be like Wike who does not enjoy jokes!

  • democrazy

    He can continue with the project if a proper audit has been done. If that has been done, I’m sure the report with be damning against the prior administration. Afterall we all know where the money went to.

  • Prince O Williams

    Complete what? Is that a project? #38 billion wistful project that even if completed have no economic relevant in the society. If the writer of this article has been in Port Harcourt to see the so called monorail, I will want him to tell me if from station road to UTC bus stop (that is workable) is the problem of traffic situation in the state? The answer is definitely No, then we don’t need a monorail, or are you saying it should be extended to the appropriate place, which is Oyigbo that is 15x faraway from where they have made an attempt and waist our resources of #38 billion. Now make the maths #38 billion x 15 = #570 billion. Is this what u want? so that we will keep being in pains for the coming years. My dear think before you talk.

  • klone

    Am not a fan of amechi, but I insist if the mono rail is value adding and affordable, wike should complete it..he may need to re appraise if necessary..

  • Odili Austine

    This writer like most other hired writers on Rivers state issues don’t even know Porharcourt, or ever visited the project in question. How can any reasonable person call that trap that Amaechi set in Phc a monorail? It is a pity that the love for money has made most writers in this part of the world to lose focus.

    • Izonebi

      the burden of comprehension, “The principal actors in Rivers State should, therefore, rise above petty politics and be leaders who act in the present for the good of the future.”

      This was the import of this editorial if you could rise above partisanship and realise that this was not to rub either Wike or Amaechi in the right or wrong way.

    • Mr. A

      Funny really when people comment on things they hardly know anything about. That project was technically flawed in concept. Monorail is not a mass transit system as was intended in PH, apart from the prohibitive cost. Even the project consultant advised Amaechi against it. N33.5B has already been spent on a stretch of about 2km yet it is not functional.

  • ologs

    In this period of scarce resources who will in all honesty advise Governor Wike to sink N200b on monorail from Post Office to Artillery junction, which may still not complete it, while traffic is jamming on at every junction? The coaches are yet to be design.

  • Oma Omenazu

    Until Rivers people begin to hold their leaders accountable, they will continue to be used as puppets. Odili spent two tenures in office, Amechi, same and now Wike. Please can anyone remind me of one thing Odili did for the betterment of River state? For Amechi, I can say I saw huge changes whenever I visited port Harcourt. Roads, schools rehabilitation, scholarships to people whose parents couldn’t have afforded sending them abroad for studies. To me, that is what governance is about. Its about tangible changes and progress. May not have been enough but I saw changes. Governor Wike’s comments on the mono rail project reminds me of the things my children say while playing. It is not news that funny projects are been initiated with billions of naira quoted and unquoted by most administrative administrations. Most monorails I have seen are usually short distanced so there’s no crime in him completing it if its going to alleviate the hardship my grand ma goes through while going to creek road market. The monorail is a thoughtful project that should be completed and replicated in other areas of the city. And please I don’t reside in port Harcourt so no one should say I was asked to write this. I am just passionate about this kind of projects cause its the kind of amenities I enjoy whenever I visit other countries and our governors and relatives do so too. And to think that its been initiated in my birth state, feels exciting. If governor Wike is of the opinion that the one constructed by Amechi is too expensive, he can prove it by constructing a cheaper one around Rumokoro to Igwuruta area towards greater port Harcourt to aid city expansion or possibly to the airport if he thinks so. Please your Excellency, do not be distracted by partisan activities. Show the people of River state that you can feel their pains and that you have good intentions for them. Commission some ground breaking projects that when completed will alleviate the suffering of your people and engrave your name in their heart forever. Please sir, remember its about the people.

  • Omo Delta



    Part of the major problems in our elections (the Nigeria style) is the INEC itself.

    INEC allowed themselves to be used as they connived with politicians to rig as evidenced during the past elections where INEC officials were caught thumb printing for candidates.

    INEC as an Auctioneers: INEC as it is today is an auctioneers selling victory to the highest bidders.

    Returning officers(note) are paid to declare the highest bidders the winners in various States. I witness this in Delta State during the Governorship election as it is a known fact that once one is declared the winner only the court can remove him/her.

    Next is that politicians have before the election even have budgeted huge sum of money to share for the Judges(Tribunal/Appeal Court even the Supreme Court)

    Therefore, any reform without internal reform of INEC will not work

    PDP has Not won any election in a State like Delta since 2003 but INEC always compromised, connived with PDP to rig all the way

    The Judiciary: PDP knows the details of all the Judges and work with their agents(the Judges have agents who collect the money for them) and rule in a very fraudulent way


    1.Therefore, any reform should go far inside INEC internal order. There should be serious sanction on any INEC staff who seek or connive to compromise the system

    2. Also, the process of seeking Justice should be looked into as only the Judges, INEC officials in the fields, Tribunal Judges, the Courts and the fake lawyers called SANs are the one benefiting from the election issues since the Governors on assuming office first award contracts to take out the huge sum of money invested back before planning how to govern (if any) thereby leaving the masses wailing

    3. INEC should reform the system to exclude any corrupt politicians from contesting elective position. Work with the police, EFCC, ICPC, DSS to go far into records

    NOTE: Our quality of governance is very law because almost all the State governors are of low calibre. Most Governors are from very questionable background (crooks, 419, fraudsters, Drug pushers, Kidnapping, even armed rubber, other forms of criminal activities) It is these set of people working with various area ‘boys’ thugs and criminals in various states to rig election

    This is one of the reasons why crime is very difficult to fight/check in Nigeria since these criminals work with politicians


  • chukwudozie duru

    Government is a continual process and with the level of congestion happening in Rivers State , the state will eventually need any kind of panacea to its traffic condition and it could be monorail as it is generating so much public discourse now.
    In the next ten years Rivers State will be in a very short of access road and any kind of rail system will be needed.
    I am not a support of Amaechi nor Wike but as an analyst they will need something in the next ten years.