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Abia State Governor Alex Otti Reveals State’s Debt Profile

“We inherited N192.2bn dept from Ikpeazu” - Abia State Gov Abia State Governor Alex Otti Reveals State's Debt Profile
Abia State Governor, Alex otti

Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, shed light on the state’s financial landscape, disclosing a significant debt burden inherited from his predecessor, Okezie Ikpeazu.

Governor Otti revealed that upon assuming office, his administration was confronted with a staggering debt of N192.2 billion. This debt, he noted, had accumulated over time and posed a considerable challenge to the state’s fiscal stability.

Highlighting the financial trajectory further, Otti underscored that Ikpeazu’s administration, in turn, inherited a debt of N34.5 billion from the preceding administration. Despite the daunting financial obligations, Otti emphasized that his administration had made strides in debt management, diligently paying off debts with high-interest rates. He articulated, “It is tough, but we have to do it. We manage our expenses well and are able to live.”

Amidst concerns over the state’s borrowing practices, Otti clarified that borrowing was not inherently negative, provided the funds were utilized judiciously for developmental projects. He asserted that his administration remained committed to prudent financial management and had debunked allegations of excessive borrowing. “We will borrow when the need arises, but for now, we are managing,” Otti affirmed.

Addressing the issue of pension arrears, Otti reassured pensioners of the state’s commitment to their welfare. He acknowledged delays in pension payments due to a rigorous verification exercise but announced that all pensions had been settled as of the previous week. With over 12,500 pensioners receiving their dues, Otti affirmed that the administration had eradicated pension arrears, providing much-needed relief to retirees.

Furthermore, Otti celebrated the progress of infrastructure projects across the state, citing the rehabilitation efforts at local government headquarters. He lamented the neglect suffered by these facilities under previous administrations, noting that 90% of the headquarters were in a dilapidated state. Through concerted efforts, Otti expressed satisfaction that work was underway to revitalize these essential structures, enhancing service delivery to residents.

Responding to allegations of fund misappropriation at the local government level, Otti vehemently denied any such occurrences under his tenure. He asserted his administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability, ensuring that local government funds were utilized for their intended purposes. Otti pledged to address salary arrears for parastatals, affirming that measures were in place to streamline payment processes effectively.

In conclusion, Governor Alex Otti reiterated his administration’s unwavering dedication to fiscal responsibility and good governance. Despite inheriting a substantial debt burden, Otti’s leadership has navigated through financial challenges, prioritizing debt management, pensioner welfare, and infrastructural development. As the state progresses towards economic stability, Otti’s commitment to prudent financial practices remains paramount, ensuring a brighter future for Abia State and its residents.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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