The Abia State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2019, Alex Otti has lamented that the state, under Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, now has an external debt profile of $100.2 million and N63 billion domestic debt.
He lamented that Ikpeazu through alleged ineptitude, ramped up the external debt profile of $33.79 million and domestic debt of N25 billion, he inherited in 2015 from his predecessor, Senator Theodore Orji, to the current alarming dept profile of the state.
Otti stated this in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen Monday night.
He said: “While the state government takes pictures and spends millions on celebrities projecting Abia falsely on television, radio stations and in the newspapers as one that is experiencing massive infrastructural development and environmental turnaround. The present government in Abia state has consistently lied to the world that there is a state government-sponsored agricultural revolution in Abia, including the nonexistent Abia rice and Abia mushroom products.
“The government faced its biggest embarrassment a few days ago during its kangaroo media tour when the picture of the governor commissioning a dirty and substandard two-room local rice mill was released to the world, causing outrage and condemnations. Today, unlike the propaganda promoted by Ikpeazu, there is nothing like Abia rice anywhere. The government knows it and the populace knows this as well. So, what were the lies for?
“Aba has deteriorated badly. All over Abia state, the tragic failings of the Ikpeazu government are self-evident. His ineptitude, lack of vision and indifference to the task of governance are legendary. Obviously his core interest in government appears to be jolly-jolly. He is permanently on a charted flight jetting out of Abia to frolic with friends and associates. Most of the time he is abroad, deceiving those that listen to him that he is in search of foreign investment, while the few existing local ones are closing shop.
“Between the time the present Okezie Ikpeazu led government came on board and today, the state has received over Three hundred and Fifty-five Billion Naira (N355 Billion) in statutory monthly allocations and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). These funds are aside from the bailout funds, Paris Club refunds, ecological funds and loans from Commercial banks taken by this government.
“In addition to the above funds, Governor Ikpeazu inherited an external debt profile of $33.79m and Domestic debt of N25b in 2015.
“Regrettably, this government had ramped up our debt to $100.2m and N63b in external and domestic debt respectively. This means that the state has increased total borrowing from N35b in 2015 to over N100b at the moment if the entire loan was to be expressed in local currency”.
“Abia is too big and rich in human and material resources to be surrendered to jesters for destruction on the altar of sectionalism and petty partisanship while vulnerable men and women who look up to us as leaders wallow in daily pain and penury.”
Ikpeazu recently defeated Otti again at the tribunal after defeating him and others during the 2019 governorship election.