Opinion: Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, Accused of Profligacy and Corruption | #NwokeukwuMascot

  Opinion  

…..Governor Alex C. Otti, A  Titleholder In Profligacy by Uche Aguoru | #NwokeukwuMascot 

 Dr Alex Chioma Otti 

Going by the Q3 report published by the Abia state government on its website, one can rightly accord Governor Alex Otti the infamous title of being a title holder in profligacy, and his government the most wasteful since the creation of Abia state.

This descent into the abyss of corruption only goes to show that Otti’s campaign slogan of transparency in governance is a mere swindle used to delude Abians into handing over the vaults to him for plunder.

A breakdown of the Q3 fiscal report slams the Otti government with the incontrovertible confirmation that our state is experiencing more corruption in a sophisticated format than we have ever had since 1999.

How can one explain that Mr. Otti who preached prudence and promised to cut down the cost of governance is today spending a whopping sum of N5.32BN in 3 months to service the office of the governor even as he operates from his private residence while his Ebonyi State counterpart spent N850m and Governor Mbah of Enugu state spent 3.32 billion within the same period under review?

Governor Alex Otti in his usual deceptive rhetoric told Abians that he has not been taking salaries since he became governor but the report posted on the state’s official website reveals that Governor Otti has pocketed a princely sum of N2.8BN  as security vote in 3 months when Governor Nwifuru of Ebonyi state has only taken 350 million Naira and his Enugu State counterpart has collected 1.1billion naira within the period under review.

Governor Otti”s security vote of 933m every month is the highest in the whole of the southeast, not even the governors of war-torn Bornu and Niger States where Boko haram terrorrists and insurgents hold sway collects so much in security votes.

The only expense line that went down is personnel cost, Governor Otti only spent 4b naira on staff salaries whereas, same period in 2022 Personnel cost was about 12billion naira.

This accounts for the over 10.000 staff sacked by the Otti administration and the  deduction that goes into Abia workers salaries and a large number of legitimately engaged civil servants yet to be paid since 6 months after assuming office under the guise of unending verification.

Abians can now understand why there is so much hunger and poverty in the state.

The breakdown reveals that the governor has spent on just himself and his family the sum of N8.12BN in the midst of unprecedented hunger and hardship that Abians have been subjected to since the coming of the Otti administration.

These expenditures and indeed other fiscal breakdown as contained in the state website have subheads attached to each report, it, therefore, amounts to barefaced lies to drag the Ikpeazu administration into it.

It is indeed alarming that in so short a time, an administration that rode to power on claims of prudence and transparency has broken the records in wasteful expenditure and plundering of the people’s resources and it becomes even worse, irresponsible and dishonourable when a government attempts to deny its own financial record in an effort to cover up its financial recklessness.

This is in addition to the issuing of contracts without approvals from the House of Assembly, lack of due process of open bidding, as well as statutory guidelines and checks by government departments, saddled with such responsibility to forestall financial sleazes.

Is it not suspiciously shocking that under Mr Alex Otti, a supposedly renown first-class economist, our IGR has dropped from 800 million to less than 600 million monthly while our recurrent expenditure has tripled?

The media-manipulated performance claims by the Otti government can only be a product of delusions of grandeur as the reality on the street of Abia, is completely at variance with the fabricated lies and imaginary performance indices that the government is hiring media houses and skit makers to propagate, little wonder they claimed to have spent 543 million Naira in publicity within a period of three months.

Apart from the one lane added to the existing two lanes of the over-advertised less than three-kilometer Ossa\Okpara square roundabout that is being constructed at the cost of 18 billion naira, can the Otti administration name one landmark project it conceptualized, and commenced since coming into office?  I stand to be challenged that 90% of the infrastructural projects listed by the Otti administration are projects Ikpeazu started and left at various stages of completion which Governor Otti is now appropriating at a highly inflated cost.

I, therefore, challenge Governor Otti to come clean and show some honour and integrity by apologizing to Abians for this financial recklessness and waste of the people’s resources.


Aguoru

Writes From Umuahia

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