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The Governor of Abia State, Alex Otti has declared that the 2024 budget will unlock the great potential that abound in the state and enable her to rise to greater heights.
He spoke during a reception held in his honour by the people of Aba South, at the School of Health Science and Technology, Aba.
Dr. Otti said the budget, which has been passed into law by the House of Assembly, will take the state “out of the deep hole that it found itself and release it so that it can fly.”
He hailed the leadership of the House, chaired by Emmanuel Emeruwa, the speaker, and every member of the Assembly for considering the budget.
He described the speaker, who represents Aba South State Constituency, as a gift to the state and expressed confidence in his leadership.
“I will like to thank Aba South for the gift of Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Emeruwa. He is a rare gift to this state and this nation. I may not have known him for donkey years, but anybody you see and you are observant, even before the person does anything, you will know the type of someone that person is.
“The House of Assembly has a responsibility to elect its leadership. Ours is to support. I had no problem supporting Emmanuel Emeruwa, and just like he has said, he has done very well and he will continue to do well,” Otti said.
He thanked Aba residents for their support right from the beginning of his quest to lead Abia State in 2015, and restated his commitment to rebuild Aba, which he described as the “production, industrial and commercial hub of Abia State; maybe of the Southeast; maybe of Southern Nigeria.”
The governor, however, frowned at the attitude of the residents to waste disposal, warning that it would no longer be business as usual from January 2024.
“We may have done things wrong in the past, but we cannot continue to live in the past. This is why we are redefining the future.
“Whatever it takes, we are going to ensure this city is sparkling clean.
“So, I want to put all of us on notice that it may be difficult if you want to liter because we are not going to tolerate it.
“So, the change that you want to see has to begin with you,” he said.
Otti said more of the newly reconstructed roads in Aba by his administration would be inaugurated in January 2024.
He said work would begin by January on some of the very difficult but important roads in Aba, such as Obohia and Ohanku roads.
“We are going to use solid pavement (cement) technology,” he said as the crowd at the venue of the reception burst into applause and solidarity songs.
He reassured the citizens of his determination to use the resources of the state to work for her and vowed never to share the state’s money to individuals.
“If you have keyed into the vision of the government of the state; if what is important to you is the development of the state; if what is important to you is the welfare of the people; if what concerns you is that people finish working and they get their salary promptly before the month ends; if you are concerned about the payment of salary arrears; if you are concerned about treating our traditional rulers respectfully and giving them what is due to them; if what you are interested in is revamping our hospitals and ensuring that our schools are citadels of learning; if what you are interested in is that the roads are built and the money of the state is used judiciously, then you will not have problem with us.
“But I can assure you that you will have problem with us if you want us to start sharing money because I don’t have money to share. People’s money must be used to work for the people,” he said.
The governor, after the event, headed for Ngwa Road in Aba, where he inaugurated the automated solar-powered street lights recently installed on the over 3km road, turning on the lights one after the other as he walked.