Abia LGAs Revenues: Over N40bn earned without any substantial impact point to corruption(document) | #NwokeukwuMascot
Abia LGAs Revenues: A Call for Transparency, Accountability by Eke O Eke | #NwokeukwuMascot
WHERE ARE ABIA LGA REVENUES?
Dear Governor Alex C. Otti,
Good morning and many happy Sabbath blessings. May I seize this privilege to appreciate some of the good intentions you have for the state, as detailed in your campaign manifesto. Without wasting your time, I would like to bring this urgent situation to your notice.
Abia LGA's have earned about N40bn or more since 8 months you came to power. This is a low estimation, considering that the state's monthly allocation increased by 35% from Q4 2022 to Q4 2023, due to the removal of subsidy by President Tinubu. Refer to the 2022 LGA Audit Reports & Q1-Q4 2023 Budget Performance Reports, published by your government.
Although many Abians may not know, I have no doubt that you are aware that almost all of the few township roads you are maintaining (patching of pot holes) in Umuahia come under the exclusive remit of the Umuahia LGAs. Most Abians may equally not know that some of the roads you are rehabilitating at Aba are LGA roads.
The big question remains - why are the LGAs incapable of carrying out any of the above maintenance and rehabilitation projects, when they have earned sufficient funds to do so?
What is stopping you from allowing the LGA Chairmen to control the finances of the LGAs, as required by law? Though not legally elected, I believe that you trust the people you described as 'billionaire mayors' enough to have the integrity and character to use the LGA funds to carry out these projects, including the replacement of transformers as you were asked by an Abian yesterday in your friendly media chat with your chosen Abians. I also do not doubt your understanding that desilting of gutters in townships are the exclusive responsibilities of the LGAs, with support from the state, unless there are emergency situations, when the state will have to intervene.
May I politely ask - WHERE ARE THE LGA REVENUES EARNED UNDER YOU? Without borrowing, it is clear that the state & LGAs have earned well over N100bn since you came to power, considering the N65.5bn earned by the state in just 6 months of tenure according to your government's Q3 & Q4 2023 Budget performance reports.
In 2022, Abia LGAs earned a total of N46.59bn according to the reports published by your government on 29th September 2023 on your government's website. With the removal of subsidy, the LGA's will be earning well over N60bn per annum on their own.
Why is it that 8 months after you came to power, that no Abia LGA can grade a road or simply install a light bulb in any LGA, or start any major project? Why do you interfere with the finances of the LGA's, which consequently stifles the development of our rural Areas, as we have seen over the years under previous governments?
It is due to these behaviours that some quarters in Abia view your government as a democratic dictatorship. This behaviour also appears to be extending to ABSU, which ordinarily should have financial autonomy to manage its resources. It looks that we are yet to have moved on from the days of your former party, the PDP.
Isiala- Ngwa North and South have earned about N5.4bn since you came to power. Their total expenses (salaries, overhead & depreciation) should be less than N1bn in 9 months, according to the recent audit reports of the LGAs published on your government's website. May I ask you where the remaining funds of about N4.4bn are?
I am fully aware of your instruction to your team to ignore my complaints and requests for transparency and accountability from your government, but I deserve to know what you are doing with these funds, as a concerned Abia Citizen, who wish to see our LGA's deliver their statutory responsibilities of developing our rural areas, running our primary health care centres, managing our public primary schools, paying our primary school teachers, health workers & retirees, building our rural and township roads, and getting development closer to our people.
May I humbly remind you that the non negotiable autonomy of the LGAs, which includes financial autonomy, was one of the cardinal points of your campaign for governorship as clearly written in your manifesto. Unfortunately, you appear to be reneging on almost all your campaign promises.
I do hope that you see this and my other efforts of state building as not antagonistic, but a deliberate attempt to encourage open and transparent governance, which ensures the use of our collective public funds to work for us, and end our continued oppression by the political class, which appears to have continued under your regime.
I also believe that you appreciate the time it takes me to do all these for a place where I may unlikely live again, considering the financial value of time in Europe.
Eke O Ako
Okpulor Ngwa Autonomous community
Isiala-Ngwa North LGA, Abia State