In an exclusive report obtained by SaharaReporters, it has been revealed that Governor Alex Otti of Abia State is set to spend a staggering N13 billion on the acquisition of new vehicles, including cars, vans, trucks, and buses, for various government purposes in 2024....CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>
The details of this substantial budget allocation were found in the approved 2024 state budget, which was signed by Governor Otti on December 28, 2023
The budget, totaling N567.2 billion, was signed at the governor’s private residence in Nvosi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of the state. Governor Otti expressed confidence that the budget would stimulate the economy, foster socio-economic development, and elevate Abia to new levels of progress.
Breaking down the allocation for vehicle procurement, the budget earmarked N5,946,756,437 for motor vehicles, N2,704,980,600 for vans, N949,000,000 for trucks, and N3,011,804,906 for buses. Additionally, N105,000,000 was approved for spending on motorcycles and bikes.
Further examination of the budget reveals that the Governor’s Office has allocated N1.8 billion for the purchase of unspecified motor vehicles, with an additional N412 million for motor vans. The Governor’s Office is also set to spend N712 million on two units of Nissan trucks and another N1 billion for brand-new buses.
Various ministries, departments, and agencies within the state also budgeted significant amounts for vehicle procurement, with Toyota, Nissan, and Innoson mentioned as preferred brands.
This significant budget for new vehicles raises eyebrows as the state is already planning to finance over 70 percent of its N567.2 billion budget for 2024 through local and external borrowings. The budget deficit stands at around N400 billion, and the state aims to generate revenue through grants, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), government allocations, and other income sources.
This revelation comes in the wake of Governor Otti’s spending patterns in 2023, where a substantial sum was allocated for refreshments, meals, honorarium, allowances, welfare packages, and vehicle purchases. Notably, the expenditure on repairing public schools in the state remained disproportionately low, raising concerns about the state of education infrastructure.
As the people of Abia express their concerns over the allocation of such a substantial amount for vehicles amid economic challenges, Governor Otti’s administration will likely face scrutiny and calls for transparency in financial management.….CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>