Ikpeazu faults Otti on $200m Abia loan
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has criticised Dr. Alex Otti’s claim of stopping the $200 million loan facility, which his government sought from the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 2017.
The governor declared that Otti, the state governorship candidate of Labour Party (LP), was making wild claims, adding that other states such as Kaduna, Ogun, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Kano, Plateau, Enugu, Ondo and Katsina that got the approval with Abia, had accessed their loans before Otti sent his petition.
The LP’s governorship hopeful had, in a chat with journalists, confirmed petitioning authorities to stop the loan, pointing out that the state government was yet to account for federal allocations received and previous loans collected, as well as falsified documents to get the loan without the approval of the state legislature.
But, speaking through his aide, Michael Nwabueze, the governor disclosed that the loan request was approved by the state House of Assembly.
He explained that in 2017, Abia was among 10 states given accelerated approval to borrow the sum of $1.5 billion from multilateral agencies and France, as well as part of the 2016-2018 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan, which approval the Presidency had sought in August 2016.
“It is unfortunate that Otti will resort to telling lies to defend one of his deliberate acts of sabotage against the people of Abia.
“Obviously, the facility was approved by the state House of Assembly for infrastructure development, whereas Otti’s phantom government official told him in his dreams that the facility was for payment of workers’ salary arrears.
“Only a man like Otti, who does not have any public sector management experience, will suffer such ignorance-inflicted meltdown and still claim that if Abians elect him as their governor in 2023 he would borrow to fund projects.
“In 2017, Abia was among 10 states given accelerated approval to borrow a total sum of $1.5 billion from multilateral agencies and France. As part of the 2016-2018 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan whose approval the Presidency had sought in August 2016.
The governor maintained that the loan was approved for Abia Rural Access and Mobility Project, “which was expected to deliver at least 10 kilometres of roads in each of the 17 councils of the state with statutory approvals obtained and verified by the National Assembly before assent.”