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I Met Abia In Bad Shape But I’m Fixing It Quietly – Otti

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Abia State Governor, Alex Otti has decried the condition the state was in when he took over reins of power last May, stressing that it was left in a very bad shape by his predecessor, Okezie Ikpeazu.

When asked if he met the state in bad shape, he replied, “Absolutely, very, very bad shape, but I am not complaining. I have folded my sleeves and I am just dealing with what I met here.”

The governor was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday.

He said that while he was not totally against debts, his grouse was that he did not see what the money borrowed by his predecessor was used for.

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.

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“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.”

On tax collection, Governor Otti said his administration has cleaned up the system by driving away miscreants from collecting taxes for the government.

He said that they have made it a duty that collection of any revenue cannot be made in cash.

“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,” he said.

Otti also reassured the people of Abia of delivering rail project which is one of the projects he promised during his campaign. He said the government has been in a discussion with a Chinese company and that the discussions are going well.

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