Former Governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi has disclosed why he lost $39 million to fraudsters in Rivers state. The Federal Minister of Transport who at his Senate hearing famously uttered, “I have never taken bribe in my life but if they send a girl to you and you sleep with the girl and do that favour, that means you are corrupt”, said that he lost the money because he was only human and was learning on the job.
Guardian reported about the fraud in 2015, After spending N8.54 billion on a proposed 1,000-bed Adolphus Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital, the permanent secretary in Rivers State Ministry of Health, Somiari Harry yesterday said there is no physical structure at the site of the project. Vital documents such as a memorandum of understanding and shareholders’ agreement between the state government and Canadian-based Clinotech Diagnostic and Pharmaceutical Limited, which received the $39.2 million to build the contentious hospital are said to be missing.
Harry told the Justice George Omereji-led commission of inquiry investigating the non-execution of the 15-storey Adolphus Karibi Whyte Specialist Hospital after the payment of $39.2 million (equivalent to N4.6 billion in 2008), to Clinotech, that besides some parts of prefabricated buildings littering around, containers and other equipment, there is nothing at the site of the proposed hospital to justify the huge amount the state government paid to the contractor.
According to him, the concept was for the hospital to provide world-class medical services in Port Harcourt. He said the estimated cost of the project was $98 million and based on this a memorandum of understanding and shareholders agreement were signed by the parties, which required that the state government would provide 40 percent of the funding, while Clinotech would provide 60 percent.
According to him, state government paid off its own 40 percent equity valued at $39.2 m (N4.6 billion) at the time to Clinotech, which in turn failed to contribute its own counterpart funding for the project.
Amaechi is seen in this video explaining how his learning on the job cost the people of Rivers state $39.2 million.