N192.2 bn inherited debt spent on nothing —Otti

The Governor of Abia State, Alex Otti says the N192.2 billion debt profile of the State he inherited from past administration of former governor Okezie Ikpeazu, wasn’t spent on any project in the State.

Otti who spoke on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday, noting that despite the bad shape he met the State, yet, he is not complaining.

The Governor took over the reins of power on May 29, 2023 after his election on the platform of Labour Party, LP.

According to him, “My worry is not really about debt, it is about what the debt is used for. If you inherited a debt profile of N34.4 billion by May 29, 2015 and eight years later you ran that debt to about N192.2 billion.

“I really can’t see anything that you have done with the money, salaries were not being paid, pensioners were being owed, infrastructure was decaying, the place go into ruins, schools were run down completely, hospitals were dilapidated.

“So, the issue is where did the money go? If I am going to take debt, it is going to go into regenerative expenditure.

“But when you are taking loans and you are running the State into debt, just for consumption, you are not investing in the State; you are not paying salaries; that’s actually what I was talking about”, Otti said.

The Governor disclosed that his administration has eliminated the use of miscreants in tax collection and cleaned up the tax system for prudent management.

He said, “As a government, we do not patronise touts and we have also made it clear that people in Ariaaria market can only pay through the designated banks.

“Cash payments are no longer allowed. You do not pay for any revenue by cash, you can only pay through the banks”, according to the Governor who also listed key sector his administration has made giant strides.

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