HomePoliticsAbia: You Left ₦191.2bn Debt Burden, Otti Replies Ikpeazu

Abia: You Left ₦191.2bn Debt Burden, Otti Replies Ikpeazu

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The Governor Alex Otti-led government of Abia State has revealed that it inherited a debt burden of ₦191,239,307,593.67 billion from the outgone government of Okezie Ikpeazu.

This was made known yesterday, by the Special Adviser to Governor Alex Otti on Finance, Mr. Mike Akpara, at a press conference in Umuahia, jointly held by the finance and the media team of the governor.

Akpara said it became necessary, ‘to separate facts from fiction,’ following claims by the outgone government of Ikpeazu that, ‘the state was not owing any commercial bank, including temporary overdrafts.’

However, in a breakdown of the debt profile left behind by the past government, Akpara stated that as at May 28, 2023, the government of Abia State under Ikpeazu left a total loan balance of N77, 927,939,042.82.

He said  the loan facilities were obtained  from three old generation banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and were not repaid by Ikpeazu before he left office on May 29, 2023.

Read Also: It’s False To Say That Ikpeazu Left Nothing For Otti – Iroha

On domestic debt, the special adviser said that a total sum of N71,022,162,441.01 was inherited, comprising N18,162,102,692.92 in salaries and subventions arrears, and pension arrears of N21,283,876,789.80.

Other components of the domestic debt, according to Akpara, included gratuity arrears of N27,012,996,061.64 and indebtedness to contractors totalling N4,563,186,896.65.

He put the external debts incurred by the Ikpeazu administration at N42,289,206,109.84.

Akpara, was flanked by the new Accountant General of Abia, Mrs. Njum Onyemenam, special adviser on media and publicity, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma and the Chief press secretary to the governor, Mr. Kazie Uko.

He debunked the claims that the Ikpeazu administration left N24 billion in the account of Abia State government, describing it as “false claims”.

“The $200 million and $50 million they claimed they left behind for the new administration are loans they were pursuing which is yet to crystallise.

“Outside the humongous financial liabilities left behind by the Ikpeazu-led government, they also left physical liabilities in all our key institutions.”

Akpara, argued that it was inconceivable for the immediate past administration to claim that it left huge sums of money considering the mountainous amounts of salary arrears, pensions and gratuities arrears Ikpeazu left behind.

He, therefore, dropped a poser, saying, ‘If Ikpeazu had the billions he claimed to have left behind for the Otti-led government in April and May, why did he not pay workers and pensioners before leaving office.”

The special adviser also insinuated that Ikpeazu was making “provocative claims” of leaving huge sums of money for the Otti administration in order “to preempt anti-corruption agencies”.

“He (Ikpeazu) should know that they(anti-corruption agencies) work with facts and figures, therefore, even if he runs into the APC to seek refugees he is planning to do, these anti-corruption agencies would pursue and bring him to justice from there,” Akpara said.

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