Politics

All I want is Abia Airport or N10bn, Gov Otti replies Ikpeazu

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Amid the controversies surrounding the disclosure that the immediate past Okezie Ikpeazu- led administration in Abia State allegedly awarded N10 billion for a nonexistent airport, the State governor, Alex Otti has said that details of the final forensic report will be made public soon.

Gov. Otti, who dropped this hint at his monthly media chat at Government house, Umuahia, made it clear that from the Audit report, the N10 billion was budgeted for an airport for Abia State, but from all indications, Abians are yet to see that airport.

In the defence of the Airport project and the N10 billion spent, former commissioner for Trade and Industry in the Okezie Ikpeazu- administration, Mr. John Okiyi Kalu had claimed in a statement that traditional rulers in the state advised Okezie not to embark on that Airport project since Imo and Akwa- Ibom Airstrips were very close to Abia.

The royal fathers, he said, urged Abians to rather, use the Owerri and Ibom Air for purposes of proximity.

As a result, Ikpeazu had to use the N10 billion for road projects in the state.

However, countering the argument by Kalu, Otti said the roads built with the said amount should be shown to the people of the state.

“I am looking for the Abia Airport or N10 billion. Or show us the roads. The rest of the job will be done by the security operatives,” Otti said.

Speaking further, Gov. Otti said that in line with his administration’s desire to make education in Abia be as it should be, government has directed attention to teachers and schools.

To this end, 23 schools from the three zones have been mapped out for equipping and renovation. They are 13 primary schools and 10 Secondary schools.

“Apart from these, teachers will undergo fresh orientation. Provisions have been made for teachers to live within the school premises to monitor their students and pupils as was the case before,” he said.

“Some levels of trained teachers in government Ministries are being retrained and sent back to the classrooms to teach. A consultant is working on this re training exercise.

“As part of incentives and motivations for teachers, government has increased the retirement age of teachers to 65 years . Government is also working out what it calls, discriminatory package for teachers.”

On healthcare, Otti declared that much is also being done in the sector by deploying adequate personnel to primary, secondary and tertiary levels of our healthcare as well as equipping the healthcare facilities.

Otti hinted that a total of 70 roads are being rehabilitated throughout the state, with four of them completed and commissioned.

On the fate of pensioners in Abia State, Otti said pensioners have been paid arrears of their entitlements owed since 2014, noting that monthly payment has been regularised with effect from April, 2024.

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