Update Post: November 28, 2023 11:12 am
Abia State Governor Alex Otti faced scrutiny as a state budget performance report revealed an expenditure of N927 million in three months.
The report, titled “Abia State Third Quarter (July – September) 2023 Budget Performance,” was published on the state government’s website.
“This Q3 and Year to date performance is assessed against the revised 2023 Budget that covers the Original Budget plus an Amendment Virement sum of N22,263,269,900 as summarised below,” the report stated, emphasizing its production by the Abia State Planning Commission, Budget Department/Office of the Accountant General, and Accounts Production Department.
Within July and September 2023, the Otti-led government spent N223,389,889.84 on refreshment/meals, N305,400,000.00 on honorarium and sitting allowance for government officials, and N397,520,734.00 on welfare packages.
The document also disclosed a significant expenditure of N737,922,661.25 on motor vehicles, without specifying the quantity or recipients of these vehicles, SaharaReporters reports. Additionally, N362,804,050.00 was allocated for truck purchases, and N400,890,000.00 was used for the acquisition of buses.
The report indicated that N252.4 million was utilized to run the Deputy Governor’s office for three months. However, it revealed a contrasting figure, as only N25 million was allocated for the repair of public schools in the state.
This allocation sparked criticism, considering the reported dilapidated state of public primary and secondary schools in Abia State. Multiple reports online described these educational facilities as aging, decaying, and in disrepair, reflecting government negligence.
Dilapidated buildings, leaking roofs, broken furniture, doors, and windows, along with abandoned structures filled with garbage and overgrown shrubs, were reported across the 17 local government areas of Abia State.