The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate in Abia State, Alex Otti, on Wednesday asked Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to explain how he spent over N160 billion received between May 2015 and last month.
Otti stated this in a rejoinder to two statements issued by the state government in reaction to his allegation of financial misappropriation against Governor Ikpeazu.
The APGA candidate, who said he would not join Ikpeazu in the mud, told the governor to explain why salaries have not been paid despite all the money accrued the state.
He said Abia State got N120 billion from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) between May 2015 and last month, adding that the state got a N10 billion loan from a commercial bank, N14.105 billion bailout fund, as well as N10.6 billion and N5.7 billion first and second Paris Club Refund funds respectively.
Otti said: “On the issue of funds that have accrued to the state and how they were utilized, information available from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation indicate that you received N25.59 billion and N15.42 billion between May to December 2015.
“From January to December 2016, Abia State received N30.56 billion and N19.61 billion. You got N18.28 billion and N11.91 billion between January and July, 2017. The total money received by Abia State from the OAGF is N74.42 billion and N46.94 billion, which equals N120 billion.
“In addition to the above funds, you had borrowed N10billion from an old generation bank and had also received the following funds: Bail out N14.105billion, first tranche of Paris Club Refund N10.6 billion and second tranche of Paris Club Refund N5.7 billion.
“By your own admission, you collect N1billion monthly on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). You will agree with me that these are huge sums of money. I do know that it also costs money to run government and part of government expenditure goes to payment of salaries. I do not think it is too much to ask, if a citizen demands to know how these funds were utilized.
“On salaries, I will advise that you come clean and let us know why salaries are not being paid in spite of all the funds received as itemized above. It is no use making claims that are not true like the ones made in your responses to me to the effect that you have paid all outstanding salary arrears.
“Those who are owed are there in the state and I consider it a great disservice to them and the state when their governor makes untruthful claims about salary payments.
“Besides, the world is now a global village and there are credible sources including ‘Budgit’ that publish states that are in arrears of salary payments. You may wish to ask for the latest edition of such publications and see if our state is listed amongst those that are not owing.
“On your claims of commissioning 26 roads and constructing 65 others, I will advise that you give Abia people real roads. All those roads built and commissioned by propaganda on the state radio and sponsored social media platforms can only remain what they are: a mirage, when many parts of Aba and Umuahia remain in ruins and impassable. You can travel very far with propaganda, but it can never take you to a real destination, except if your destination is imaginary.”