May 16, 2024

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Dangote donates 1 m bags of rice to Abia * As Otti says ability to cut cost of governance secret behind his strides

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Dangote donates 1 m bags of rice to Abia

* As Otti says ability to cut cost of governance secret behind his strides

By Steve Oko

Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has donated 1 million bags of 10 kg bags of rice to Abia State to help indigent folks cushion the biting effects of the economic hardship in the country following the removal of fuel subsidy.

Governor Alex Otti who disclosed this during a media parley, said each Local Government Area would get 58000 bags, assuring that the donation would be equitably shared.

” I got a letter from Dangote saying that he has made available 1 million bags of 10kg rice for distribution to Abia State. We will soon take delivery of that.”

The Governor who appreciated the business mogul for the gesture, however, said his administration was thinking of enduring measure to tackle hardship in the state.

This is as the Governor has said that the magic behind the achievements being posted by his administration, was his ability to cut the cost of governance as well as his frugality in management of resources.

He said strategies were being put in place to empower Abians for self reliance instead of depending on donations or charity for survival.

“But we are looking at more enduring solution to hardship. We prefer giving people instruments to catch fish instead of giving them fish to eat.”

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Responding to an inquiry whether or not his administration had obtained any loan facility, Gov. Otti, again stressed that he had not borrowed a dime since he came to power 10 months ago.

Although he admitted there were loan approvals for the state, he explained that the necessary documentations were still being processed.

The Governor declared that whatever achievements being posted by his administration including the recent defrayal of pension arrears, was as a result of prudent management of lean resources.

” For now, we have not borrowed. When the DMO ( Debt Management Office) released the list of states that borrowed and the amount they borrowed, the opposition who had alleged that we borrowed N100 billion shut their mouth.

” Our secret is judicious management of resources. Those who follow me will agree that I have been an apostle of bringing down cost of governance. If you manage your expenditure within your revenue, you will not borrow.”

Governor Otti, however, explained that borrowing is not bad when it is for developmental purposes, and not for wastage or unnecessary projects.

” Borrowing is not bad but the question is: what do you do with the money? I was handed over a debt of over N192 billion. From about N32 billion my predecessor inherited, and within eight years, it hit over N192 billion. And I am asking where did the money go?

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” That not withstanding, we have paid part of the debt. We have paid the commercial banks overdrafts which had very high interest rate. We have also paid the pension arrears based on our agreement with the pensioner.

” We are able to live within our means. If any expenditure is not too necessary we leave it. That’s how we are surviving. That’s my area and I know the secret. We have been able to cut cost of governance, and that’s why you see developments across Abia State now”.

On what he does with his security vote following his campaign promises not to collect security votes, Otti said he had also judiciously deployed the funds to beef up security in the state.

He said that the relative peace being enjoyed in the state was a result of the responsible deployment of security votes to tackle insecurity in the state.

Responding to a question on the fate of some incapacitated and too old pensioners who were not captured during the biometric data verification, Otti expressed shock that such category of senior citizens were left out in the exercise when he had made provisions for them.

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He said he had directed that such pensioners be captured in their various political wards, vowing to investigate what led to the lapses.

The Governor assured that they would be captured and also paid, adding that henceforth, pensioners will not be owed again but paid on the 28th of every month along side workers still in active service.

” Never again will anybody owe pensioners. We will ensure they are paid even before the people paying them. Governance should be all about the people.”

The Governor, also said Local Government funds were not being tampered unlike before, hence the tangible developments being witnessed across the LGAs.

Gov. Otti who said he came on board to change the narrative, promised that Abia would witness more transformations in the months ahead.

He solicited the continued support and cooperation of the people for the success of his administration.


Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email; Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.

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