The governor of Abia State, Dr Alex Otti has dismissed a report by online medium, Sahara Reporters, claiming that he spent N937 million on food for the government house in three months.
In a statement on Monday night jointly signed by Kazie Uko, the chief press secretary to the governor, and Ferdinand Ekeoma, special adviser to the governor on media and publicity, noted that the story is false.
“Following the publication of the Q3 budget report of the Abia State Government, and in line with the government’s commitment to transparency, good governance and fiscal discipline, it has become necessary to shed more light on the aforementioned report,” the statement said.
“This is even more so when there are certain distorted reports on social media, alleging that the Abia State Government had spent close to One Billion Naira on feeding and welfare for the Governor’s Office, within the period under review.
“The accurate situation is that nothing in that region has been spent in the Governor’s Office.”
Giving a breakdown of the actual expenditure of the government for the period under review, the statement noted that the facts are as stated below:
1. The total amount spent so far by the entire government of Abia State for Refreshments and Meals for the period is N223,389,889.84.
2. The figure above is as captured in all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.
3. Please, NOTE that this figure is for the entire state and not for the Office of the Governor, as being erroneously portrayed.
4. The stated figure covers expenses for special events, such as retreats, conferences, and related events.
5. For welfare, the Abia State Government has so far spent the sum of N397,520,734.84.
6. The Welfare expenditure is in line with the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme (SFTAS); an initiative of the Federal Government.
7. Also NOTE that the Welfare Expenditure covers all the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and not just the Governor’s Office, as wrongly alleged.
8. Expenses under Welfare deal with issues of Health, Rehabilitation and Public Emergencies.
The Abia State Government, under the leadership of Dr. Alex C. Otti, OFR, will continue to uphold transparency in governance, as has been demonstrated in the publication of the budget performance report for two consecutive quarters.