Abia State Government Refutes Claims of Governor’s Extravagant Spending

The Abia State Government has vehemently refuted reports claiming that Governor Alex Otti spent a staggering N927 million on feeding and welfare between July and September 2023. The state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr. Kingsley Anosike dismissed the reports as “a reflection of the mindset of the opposition to create mischief” and clarified that the expenditure was not specific to the governor’s office but encompassed the entire ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) in the state.

In a press statement issued on Monday, Anosike emphasized the government’s commitment to transparency, good governance, and fiscal discipline. He sought to correct the misleading information circulating on social media, clarifying that the reported figure was not spent by the Governor’s Office alone.

Anosike provided a breakdown of the actual expenditures, stating that the total amount spent on refreshments and meals for the entire state during the period was N223,389,889.84. This figure covered expenses related to special events such as retreats, conferences, and other related activities.

For welfare expenditures, the Abia State Government, under Otti’s leadership, has reportedly spent N397,520,734.84. Anosike underscored that this expenditure, in line with the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability Programme, encompasses all MDAs and is not exclusive to the Governor’s Office. The funds allocated for welfare address various issues, including health, rehabilitation, and responses to public emergencies.

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Anosike concluded by reiterating the government’s commitment to upholding transparency in governance, citing the publication of budget performance reports for two consecutive quarters. He emphasized that the reported figure was an aggregation of spending under the specified categories across all 76 MDAs in the state, emphasizing that the presentation was inaccurately captured and completely misrepresented in the reports.

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