Amaechi And The Resources Of Rivers State: Testimony Of An Insider

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Rotimi Amaechi - Minister of Transportation Federal Republic of Nigeria

“Amaechi believes in transparency and accountability. He was the first governor                      in this country to begin a Stewardship Account. He was the first governor to                publicly say to people, this is what we have received, this is what we have                    spent; this is where we have spent it. He was the first governor in this country to            take over the payment of primary school teachers, which is a local government        function. Rivers State under Amaechi was the first state to have its own             Procurement Act. The World Bank not only commended, but asked other                       states to go and see the Implementation of the Due Process regime in Rivers                 State and adopt the great works of Amaechi accordingly. He was the first governor              to pass the Fiscal Responsibility Law to check government officials and exclude          himself from award of contracts throughout his tenure as Rivers State Governor;               this is the fellow that Wike is presenting in borrowed robe”. – Eze

Amaechi and the Resources of Rivers State: Testimony of An Insider

                                                             By 

Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

Today, Chief Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State’s desperation to drag ex-governor 
and current Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, his benefactor and
 predecessor in office, in the mud in order to ruin and cast aspersions on his political future
 is no longer in doubt to observers of Rivers State politics. In any human calculation, 
Wike has exceeded every norm in propaganda warfare and strategies in achieving his aim in
 that regard. Though I have done much in chronicling most of Wike’s efforts in disparaging
 Amaechi’s person and personality in several of my past articles but permit me, in avoidance
 of doubt, to recall some ugly events in Wike’s sole agenda of destroying Amaechi since 
he assumed office as Governor of Rivers State.  At the time Amaechi was nominated by 
President Muhammadu Buhari as a minster of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Wike sold all
decency in public office and embarked upon vendetta unknown to the history of politics in
Nigeria, to ensure that Amaechi became a public odium and ridicule, as even the Senate of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria played along by postponing on several occasions the screening
and confirmation of this innocent man,whose only crime was his audacity in ensuring that   
a corrupt political system under the watch of Dr Goodluck Jonathan was duly voted out
of power by Nigerians during the 2015 presidential election.  

Some of Wike’s efforts suffice here: 

In his efforts to achieve his aim of reducing Amaechi to nothing and impugning
his character before Nigerians, he spent billions of Rivers State funds to assemble and 
sponsored a satanic documentary on Amaechi, aired on Africa Independent Television (AIT), 
well-noted for this type of nefarious acts, after which they will tender public apologies 
asking for forgiveness.This satanic documentary, for which he earmarked billions of 
naira, was one of his plots to destroy and decimate the person and character of Amaechi.
Other propaganda tools planned and deployed during this period, in the war against 
Amaechi, include sponsored publications such as advertorials,columns, editorials and
Op-Ed articles in major international, national and local print media; sponsored personality
discussion programmes in the electronic media and sponsored special documentaries on
television and radio through independent groups and organisations, just to ruin and destroy 
a man who if not for him, he, Wike may have ended up probably as a farmer or a big-time
car dealer.  This insidious plot by Wike includes commissioning a team made up of persons
within and outside Rivers State to ‘initiate, formulate and contrive false, damaging reports
bordering on alleged corrupt practices by Amaechi, which were circulated to individuals 
and institutions within Nigeria and abroad, with a view to damaging the incorruptible character
and rising profile of Hon Amaechi, in order to blackmail and put pressure on President Buhari
not to appoint him into his government. Wike did not stop at these, but went further to set
up Justice George Omereji’s panel, to investigate the administration of Hon Amaechi. 
Though the panel did not found any wrong-dealing or corrupt practices by Amaechi, Wike 
went ahead to issue a white paper indicting him of embezzling the sum of N53 billion. 
How on earth can someone in his right senses describe funds withdrawn with the approval
of the legislature and spent as prescribed by the state budget to be missing? Wike, 
in his desperation to stop Amaechi’s appointment as a minister, resorted to dancing naked
in the market place.  Wike has not stopped his war against Amaechi, and will not relent 
until probably God calls him to order. At this juncture, let me state that my main aim of writing
this treatise is to, once again, present Amaechi’s financial scorecard when he held power as
the governor of Rivers State, and leave you the reader to pass your own judgment.  



Amaechi and the Resources of Rivers State: Testimony of An Insider

Having been privileged to study, monitor and work with both Amaechi as governor of 
Rivers State and Wike as former chief of staff to the government of Amaechi, as well as 
Wike’s period as minister of state for education, I owe the world a duty to put records 
straight so as to avoid misconceptions. 
 
Addressing the financial allegations against Amaechi 

1. The allegation of using Rivers funds to fund the APC presidential election; 

Reacting to the ceaseless insinuation and allegation that Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi
used and misappropriated the Rivers State funds to foot and sponsor the 2015 presidential
election of President Muhammad Buhari, Amaechi said and I quote, “I didn’t fund the APC.
Rivers State government has no money to fund the APC. They have been accusing me of 
using Rivers’money to fund the APC. The APC is a big party, so it can fund its activities. 
I do not fund the APC with Rivers’ money. I challenge all those who have been accusing 
me of funding the APC to show just one account through which I fund the APC with monies
belonging to Rivers State?” 
Funny enough, Wike and those behind these falsehoods, not minding that all the accounts
under the watch of Amaechi then as Rivers State Governor are now with 
Governor Wike, none of them have produced any single Rivers State Account where
Amaechi produced funds to sponsor the presidential campaign of APC. Nobody till
date has produced the bank account where APC campaigns were sponsored by Amaechi 
or the Rivers State Government. 



 2. The other three key allegations against Amaechi that have become a
recurring decimal which Wike and his cohorts have continued to package
and repackage in their efforts to run down and present him in a borrowed robe
and rubbish his political career are the alleged fraudulent sale of Rivers State power
assets and conversion of proceeds amounting to N60,480,000,000.00; unlawful 
payment to and criminal conversion of N6,633,440,000.00 by Clinoriv 
Specialist Hospital, and unlawful enrichment of Messrs Collect Solutions (Nig)
Limited with public funds to the tune of S1, 505,895, 698.70 (one billion,
five hundred and five million, eight hundred and ninety five thousand, six hundred
and ninety-eight naira,seventy kobo).

Addressing some of these bogus and unfounded allegations, 
George DN Feyi,former secretary to the Rivers State Government, and 
Chamberlain S. Peterside, former commissioner for finance, wrote to President 
Muhammadu Buhari with attached bank statement and relevant documents debunking
the allegations of corruption, and rendering most of these allegations baseless.
According to these two fine and principal actors in the administration of Rivers 
State under the watch of Amaechi, the facts concerning three key allegations raised 
against the ex-governor that include alleged fraudulent sale of Rivers State power assets
and conversion of proceeds amounting to N60,480,000,000.00; unlawful payment to 
and criminal conversion of N6,633,440,000.00 by Clinoriv Specialist Hospital,and unlawful
enrichment of Messrs Collect Solutions (Nig) Limited with public funds to the tune of
 S1, 505,895, 698.70 (one billion, five hundred and five million, eight hundred and ninety
 five thousand, six hundred and ninety-eight naira, seventy kobo). The ex-officials informed
 Buhari that the decision to sell 70 percent of the state’s equity in the power assets of the 
state was arrived at after an extensive deliberation by the Rivers State Executive Council on
15th and 16th August, 2012. The letter listed the reasons behind the sale and the leasing 
and concessioning of entities such as Risonpalm, Supabod and Olympia Hotel. “These entities
were leased/concessioned and NOT sold as being mischievously and erroneously peddled by
some individuals in Rivers State. At the end of the lease/concession period, these revived
assets wil lrevert to the State Government.” Feyi and Peterside added that payments
from proceeds of the transactions were lodged in the Rivers State Power Assets Sale 
Account with Access Bank,as well as the Rivers State Revenue Account at Zenith Bank. 
They also stated: “The companies that were erroneously portrayed as fronts for looting of
funds were actually those that bought the USD and made remittances of naira equivalent
into the Rivers State Revenue Account with Zenith Bank.” A table of the companies was
also included in the letter to the president.  On the alleged unlawful payment to and 
criminal conversion of N4,633,440,00.00 by Clinoriv Specialist Hospital, the two officials
also explained in details the efforts made by the Amaechi government on the matter to 
convince Buhari that Amaechi “did not maintain ‘a studied silence for seven years without
making any efforts’ as claimed by the petitioners,and he is also not involved in any 
unlawful enrichment and criminal conspiracy to convert public funds to private use.”
The duo also dismissed the issue of alleged unlawful enrichment of Messrs Collect 
Solutions (Nig) Limited as bunkum. They concluded that the allegations of fraud and 
wrongdoing against Amaechi are baseless. “The authors of the petition are either ignorant
of the true facts or deliberately misrepresented and twisted the facts in order to tarnish
the image of the former governor Amaechi and his administration for the purpose of 
achieving some heinous political agenda”, the ex-SSG and former finance commissioner
said in the rejoinder to Buhari.  



Amaechi and management of Rivers State Finances: 

To demonstrate the seriousness of Amaechi’s careful management of the resources
of Rivers State, he immediately on assuming office in 2007 constituted his cabinet 
with men and women of integrity and seeing the decay in infrastructure in the state 
commenced his task by initiating and signing into law, Road Maintenance and 
Rehabilitation Agency Bill No. 3 of 2008, Sustainable Development Amendment 
Bill No. 1 of 2008, Procurement Public Bill, Saving Public Fund Bill, and even a bill 
excluding the office of the governor from signing and awarding of contracts. 
The fact remains that no other state in Nigeria has such laws in operation, 
excluding the governor from interfering and awarding of contracts and saving
part of its revenue for the rainy days. With the enactment of these bills,
the governor demonstrated early enough the type of governance he intends
to bequeath to the State: Governance premised on accountability, service delivery
and people-oriented government for the greater good of Rivers people.  According
to Amaechi, 

“In order to lay a strong foundation for positive change in governance
in the state, the administration has taken it upon itself to initiate very critical bills
on fiscal responsibility to the State House of Assembly and virtually all of which 
have been passed into law and assented to by me. The Executive arm of government 
so far has credit for having at least 60 per cent of all bills passed by the House of Assembly, 
saying that virtually all the bills were designed to deal with the age long problem of 
financial irresponsibility and rascality and as far as the existing laws on fiscal responsibility
are concerned, anyone in government who tries to have an over sight of the due process
mechanism in the state would surely run into problems.” 



“Amaechi believes in transparency and accountability. He was the first governor
in this country to begin a Stewardship Account. He was the first governor to 
publicly say to people, this is what we have received, this is what we have spent; this is
where we have spent it. He was the first governor in this country to take over the
payment of primary schoolteachers, which is a local government function. Rivers 
State under Amaech i was the first state to have its own Procurement Act. 
The World Bank not only commended, but asked other states to go and see the
Implementation of the Due Process regime in Rivers State and adopt the great
works of Amaechi accordingly. He was the first governor to pass the Fiscal Responsibility
Law to check government officials and exclude himself from award of contracts 
throughout his tenure as Rivers State Governor; this is the fellow that Wike is 
presenting in borrowed robe”..  According to Dr Peterside the former Commissioner 
of Finance, since assuming office, efforts have been relentless to modernise the public
finance architecture in the state to improve how we account for revenues and 
report our expenditure. It is on record that Rivers State remains the first and only
state that maintains a dual international credit rating from Fitch, and standard and
Poor’s under Amaechi’s watch. This is no mean feat considering the rigorous process
of not only obtaining the ratings but constantly sustain and improving it. Compared to
several states in Nigeria or sovereign entities around the world, as can be attested by
these ratings, the state has maintained an enviable record of accountability, 
financial prudence and full disclosure. Our records are therefore verifiable and open
from the regular rating reports and annual audited financial statements. 
One of the key pillars of transformation and modernisation of policies in the state 
is the enactment and operation of a transparent public procurement process that 
creates a level-playing field to all potential vendors and contractors in the state.” 

 Other steps by Amaechi in managing the resources of Rivers State

Apart from initiating critical bills for the economic revolution in the State, the Governor
inaugurated a high powered Economic Advisory comprising of the best brains in Rivers 
State the includes Prof Nimi Briggs as Chairman with Prof Tam David West, Engr. Tonye
Princewill, Barr LedumMitee, Dr Chamberlain Peterside  amongst others as members.
Speaking while inaugurating the Council, Gov Amaechi said the task before the high-powered
team was to make recommendations that would attract new investors and make old 
ones more profitable.  The governor said the responsibility of the State government was
to abide by the blue print for economic development of the state because government
alone cannot be the sole producer of funds and employment. He noted that the present
security challenges in the NigerDelta cannot be an excuse for mass poverty in the state. 
He explained that the present economic position of Rivers State was worrisome because
a lot of companies have down-sized their operations while others have closed down
completely.  The Governor hinted that the members of the economic council were chosen
strictly on merit, as no consideration was given to where the person comes,adding that
the challenges of the assignment which is remuneration free,was enormous but God has
given the state competent, knowledgeable and capable persons.  Prof Briggs the Chairman
of the Economic Team assured that they would examine the issues seriously and proffer
solutions that would assist the State move forward while congratulating the Governor for
the decision to find solution to the economic problems in the State.  Apart from the 
above, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi set up an agency called Bureau on Public Procurement
alias ‘Due Process’ with the highly respected Barr Franklyn A. Nierum as its Director General.
This is a man who due to his sterling and uncompromising attitude to corruption is hated
by many of the government officials and contractors who see him as an enemy of the
system but most certainly loved by Gov. Amaechi who sees in him the key to stopping
corrupt practices in the State. This Commission is to monitor projects, ensure proper
valuation and costing of contract in line with the market value thereby reducing corruption
and inflation in the system and ensuring that credible and capable contractors execute 
government projects in the State. “The policy thrust of the present leadership of Rivers
State under the watch of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is to maintain a robust 
public financial management structure that could bring about efficiency and effectiveness.
The position of government on prudent management and accountability were responsible
for the successful execution of various ongoing projects in the State and the administrative
policy of instilling financial discipline is appropriate and timely”   

 

How Amaechi used the Resources of Rivers State and for what purpose(s)? 

That the administration of forme Governor Amaechi had embarked upon many
unprecedented projects, including setting up of the Songhai Farms and the N20 billion
Agric Scheme that revolutionised agriculture in the state;starting off of the billion Greater
Port Harcourt City to decongest the present Port Harcourt City, and construction of one
of the best stadi a that hosted the last Sports Festival in the new city; building and
equipping 180 health centres across the state; constructing many roads and schools;
embarking on a mono-rail, first of its kind in Nigeria, which first two phases was completed
by 2014. Upon completion, the mono-rail would transport 40,000 passengers daily but
Wike has sat on its completion for reasons only him will one day explain.  
Others include offer of scholarships to over 2,000 students in Nigerian Higher Institutions
and spending of about N5 billion for students in foreign institutions; all these have been
stopped by the Wike’s administration. Building a world-class university which was at its
completion stage before Amaechi left office and intended to turn out well-equipped 
graduates that will hold their own in any field and compete with the best in the world;
building in Rivers State University of Science and Technology a hostel that will 
accommodate about 6, 000 students and accommodation for all the lecturers of 
the university. The university will be fully ICT-compliant. It’s important to point out
here that the Rivers State Government is among the few states in Nigeria that
offer free education and free health delivery to its people, but stands apart as the 
only state offering free education, free sandals, free books and free uniform in Nigeria. 
About 200 primary schools have been set up in 200 communities, a feat that no 
other state is yet to accomplish. Wike has rubbished all these educational feats by
turning most of these schools into hide-outs for rats and criminals. Health: So far,
about 100 medical doctors have been employed to staff most of the health centres
in the rural areas. The Rivers State Government has currently embarked upon the 
exercise to eradicate malaria vectors from the state. The Health Centre at the Rivers
State University of Science and Technology ‘will soon be opened to the public.’  
The state was lauded last year for its daily commissioning of a health centre over
a 60-day period in 60 communities in its 60-60-60 initiative. The Dental Hospital
located in the Garrison area of Port Harcourt will soon be opened.  The Rivers 
State Government has invested over N100 billion per year from 2008 to 2011 in
 provision of roads, bridges and social amenities. In this regard, the government 
has engaged in the construction of 800 km roads with 250 already completed. 
Ten major bridges under construction, with three already completed; 20 minor 
bridges under construction, with four completed; two flyover/interchange under
construction; six land reclamation/shore protection projects at Andoni, Opobo,
Buguma, Abalama,Olombie-Owukiri Island, Oba Ama and Okirika, with 1,1400,000 km,
with two completed; two major markets and a shopping mall under construction
(Phase1 of Mile 1 market housing 960 shops and two banking halls completed).
Apart from all these, the Rivers State Government built three power stations at 
Omoku (150 megawatts), Trans-Amadi (130 megawatts), and Eleme (75 megawatts).
By June, 2011, capacity will be increased to 500 megawatts under the $195 million 
dollars 180mw gas turbine awarded to Saipem. Seven transmission stations 
(132/33 kilo volts) and seven distribution injection sub-stations 33/11 kilo volts built.
The security and freedom the people of Rivers State are enjoyed under the watch of 
Amaechi can only be appreciated if the scenario and state of Rivers State before Amaechi
 assumed office can still be remembered by our people. 



International awards for Rivers State based on the financial prudence of Amaechi 

It is on record that Rivers State has again been affirmed a ‘B’international rating by
leading international financial analysis agency,Standard and Poor’s (S & P) in a report
released recently. The long-term outlook for the state is revised upwards from last 
year’s rating of‘Stable’ to ‘Positive’, on the strength of significant ongoing infrastructural
investments (in roads, ICT, health care, education and urban renewal), and relentless
efforts to transform the public finance framework. All this would help lift the state’s 
social and economic status in the long-run. The agency in its 2010 credit analysis report 
on Rivers State, noted that the state currently had a high credit quality, owing to
its strong cash holdings, low debt and a healthy operating balance.  More important,
the state’s efforts towards modernising public sector administration, which included 
information technology upgrade and an improved transparency and accountability in 
administration is a plus to the administration. Standard and Poor’s also noted that 
Rivers has a strong liquidity base, with no substantial debt burden. According to S & P,
as of July 2010, Rivers continued to enjoy a very comfortable liquidity position.
It had N43.9 billion in local currency and $11 million in US. dollars. By this overview,
cash holdings in the state at the end of 2010 should be around N50 billion, based on
Standard and Poor’s assumption of N200 billion.”  In appreciation of all these feats, 
the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has been conferred with
the prestigious “SERA’s”award for his contributions towards the social development 
of Rivers State,in line with the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG),
especially in the areas of Health and Education.  

 

Further proof of Amaechi's Prudence in Public Finance 

As Minister of transportation, Amaechi has once again demonstrated his sagacity 
and prudence in management of public finance by saving a whopping N134.4
billion for the nation (using N168 to $1 as it was in 2014, when the contract was
first signed), by negotiating downwards the planned 1,402km coastal rail-line 
project already approved by the administration of Dr Jonathan at a huge cost.
“Rt Hon Amaechi has by this singular act demonstrated to the entire world that he 
utilised the resources of Rivers State prudently and wisely during his tenure as
the governor of Rivers State,”  Apart from the above feat, Rotimi Amaechi
instilled financial discipline inthe ministry of transport and its agencies 
and provided safety measures at the nation’s airports.  To Dr Chamberlain Peterside, "

Amaechi was a stickler to due process,transparency and accountability. He took us to
task a lot of times to ensure financial transactions are properly documented and our 
accounting practices are above board. That was reflected in the various reforms and
automation projects in the public finance sector (ministry of finance and BIR). 
His masterstroke was the monthly reserve fund savings program.Without that to
fall back on, the state would have gotten into real hard times from mid 2014 and 
things might have been even worse today”.  

Amaechi in the eyes of great minds

1. His Royal Majesty, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, military governor of the old
Rivers State, from 1967 to 1975. He was also a member of the Supreme
Military Council (SMC) under General Yakubu Gowon's administration 
and currently, the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, Bayelsa State, once stated and 
I quote: “Yes, I am attributed to be the father of the old Rivers State but,
without sounding immodest, let me reiterate that Governor Amaechi can be 
described as the builder of the modern Rivers State, if all the infrastructure
he has put in are anything to go by. I am so proud of his feats and if he continues
like this, Rivers State will be a proud place to all Nigerians.” 

2. Former President Jonathan while on inspection tour of the PH – OwerriRoad,
constructed by the administration of Amaechi said that, “the several road networks 
embarked upon by the Rivers State Government and the Monorail transport 
system planned by the government has significantly shown that the state is moving
ahead, beside the road network, I want to commend Governor Amaechi on the
three major projects, the quality of primary and secondary schools that we saw,
as well as the power project that would aid Small Business Enterprises.” 

3. Prof. Tam David-West, “If you compare the administration of Odili and that of 
Amaechi, you will agree with me that the present administration under Amaechi 
has done in two years far more than what Odili did in eight years.”  



4. Former Governor Shekarau of Kano State who was once in the State to
witness some of the great feats of Amaechi remarked, “I feel highly fulfilled by 
coming here today to hear and see the dividends of democracy, as I urge Governor
Amaechi to build more of such schools which he described as vehicle for change. 
But for time, I would have borrowed a leaf from Amaechi by replicating the quality
 of schools I have seen here in his State.”   

5. The former President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda,during 
his visit to the State described the leadership of the Governor of Rivers State as 
a focused one. Dr. Kaunda noted that with the focused leadership of Governor 
Amaechi, Rivers State would continue to be of service to humanity for many 
years to come.  6. The Deputy Speaker of Ugandan Parliament and Chairperson
of CWP, Hon Rebecca Kadaga, lauded the developmental efforts and policies
of Governor Amaechi, especially those geared towards improving the lot of 
children and women, saying that the issues already canvassed confirm that
what the CWP was set to achieve are already in place in Rivers State.

7. The former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, stated recently:
“The impression that I always get when I come to Africa is that these 
countries have enormous potential and your country and your State (Rivers) 
have enormous potential and I think that you happen to have at this time 
in history also, a dynamic, energetic and capable leadership that can make the
dreams of building up the State into a reality of life for the 5.1 million residents in 
Rivers State that want their lives to be of much higher and greater quality.”   

8. The then United States Consul General in Lagos, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins,while 
exchanging ideas with some journalists stated, “I must commend Governor Rotimi 
Amaechi of Rivers State for embarking on numerous people-oriented projects and 
showing enthusiasm on Niger Delta issues. We are very appreciative of all that Amaechi
 has done. We are quite clear that addressing the issues of the Niger Delta, the challenges
 require focusing on things like education development, agriculture, health, all sorts of
issues, and the governor was kind enough to show us...”  

 9. According to Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, “Ameachi is also a man of
big ideas and very insightful, he understands how to live long in the hearts of men.
His education policies in Rivers State and all of those children he gave real hope 
and opportunities will always that he will be remembered long after he left this
 earth.” 



 Conclusion

While I know the difficulty in managing public funds, Amaechi demonstrated a high
level of skill, integrity, probity in this regard. The numerous projects completed 
while as the Governor of Rivers State are a clear indication that he indeed, 
deserves encomium from all and sundry, rather than being vilified by Wike and
his misguided group. He and his team certainly deserve kudos for prudently 
utilising the public fund of our people wisely.  

While Wike within two years in office as Governor of Rivers State have borrowed
a whopping sum of over N130bn from the banks the highest by any state 
government while ensuring that Teachers, Civil servants, Contractors are not paid
their salaries and dues and that most of the schools constructed by Amaechi
are under lock and key. Apart from all these sad and unfortunate feats, Wike's
administration is described as a 'one chance'administration where the state
is governed without budget and lives of human beings are no longer sacrosanct 
or safe. Funny enough, the not performing Wike is at the forefront to run down
a man who contributed to his political growth. 

Please, you the reader after reading all the monetary, international and national
awards and recognition and the efforts of Amaechi in prudent use of the Rivers State 
resources, judge and ascertain if Wike’s Amaechi is truly the Amaechi we know but
let me conclude by stating that these unfortunate attempts to impugn the character
of Amaechi though devious,dangerous, sad and malicious will surely fail and fall 
as pack of cards unless God is no longer God.

 

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