Abia’s debt profile hits an all time low with over N52Billion cleared in less than a year – DMO

By Njoku SaintJerry A.

I had an argument with a certain Hon. Obinna Oriaku over the successful performance of the Labour Party government led by H.E. Dr. Alex Otti (OFR).

The argument focused on the fiscal performance of the Otti’s government within 11 months of the administration and how it has brought down the debt profile of Abia state that he inherited from the woeful PDP government by over 30%, where Hon. Obina Oriaku had functioned as former Abia State Commissioner of Finance.

Naturally, I would have permitted the argument to fly as no member of the failed PDP administration has been courageous enough to admit error or accept blames for their woeful performance in office, even when their failures were very obvious both to the blind and deaf residents in Abia State.

Mr. Obina Oriaku had puts up a bet!, that I should show evidence of any debt reduction of any kind and he would credit my account with N100, 000.00 for the weekend!

Permit me to delay this hot dish as would be served, so readers don’t dull their expectations.

A lot of people continue to mistook the New Abia leader, Gov. Alex Otti as your average Nigerian politician, despite he has never at any point disappointed to prove that he is rather a reformer than your average definition of Nigerian politician. 

I remembered the rat-attack he suffered in the early days of his administration, how a lot of us frowned that he is not appointing politicians in his cabinets. Especially the campaign lieutenants that worked for the victory of the party at the polls but his professional friends from the banking sector, academics, etc, 

Otti literally pulled men and women from the International Organisations, including Vets from the US security outfits, the World Bank, United Nation agencies, Microsoft, renowned Industrialists and Royalty figures like the former Emir of Kano and more. 

He did not at any time dismiss the sincere participation of every party faithful and supporter that contributed to the victory of the party at the polls, rather Otti affirmed, the damages and rot the former occupants left of Abia was not only mind boggling, it was so devastating and the reconstruction process require sacrifices that is beyond politics, otherwise everybody is a stakeholder in the rebuilding process of the New Abia

On a second thought, Abians came to understand that, with a pack of these world class technocrats and politicians selected from all over the world to rebuild the economy and social infrastructure of the state that was once on headlines news for all the wrong reasons, the region might be heading for something exceptionally unprecedented in the history of the Nigerian states 

Therefore, the governor’s choice for men and women he trusts to deliver in the first phase of the reconstruction process was justified. 

I promised Mr. Obinna Oriaku and his followers to keep a tab on me as I am about to serve them and He must be sincere enough to keep to his word.
I visited the office of the General Manager, Debt Management Office and inquired of the current status of Abia debt profile.  

For the inquisitive mind, One of the greatest achievements of this government among many is found in the office of the Debt Management Office managed by Dr. Benson Nwaigburu, a Chartered Accountant and a very disciplined scholar, very meticulous with figures, a man whose wealth in wisdom is centered around his integrity to defend what is just and present prudent figures when it matters most.
This is the man Governor Otti placed the responsibility of the DMO in his care, a man that is not only proven but time tested to juggle figures and justify positions.

On first account, Dr. Nwaiguburu stated that; this government does not take to praises, because it is a people’s government, majority of the support and endorsement of the success of this government is from voluntary contributors whom has seen visible evidence to do so, then he went ahead to reveal the following:

— The State Domestic Debt profile as at May, 2023 by the previous administration stood at N191.2bn

— The State Domestic Debt profile as at March, 2024 of the Dr Alex Otti’s present administration stands at N138.6bn   

Meaning the present Governor Alex Otti led Labour Party government has cleared over 52.6bn within 11 months!

How was the government of Alex Otti able to do this in less than a year in office? 

One of the magic wand of Alex Otti’s successful administration is what he referred to as ‘Financial Engineering’ a  top secret that perhaps will remain a secret at the top till he achieve his development goals in Abia State.
However, Dr. Nwaigburu was magnanimous enough to clarify the true positions for the doubting Thomas and remnants of the struggling members of the opposition party finding it hard to accept the reality of success the Otti’s government is gaining and the humiliation members of the failed Okezie Ikpeazu government continue to receive from men of integrity, genuinely committed to the cause of nation building and the welfare of their own people rather than play politics of stomach infrastructure.

Integrity and discipline of members of the Alex Otti’s cabinet is a priority to remain in office, this is a character trait that is alien to the previous administration therefore they could not sustain the discipline of fiscal management.

In Dr. Nwigburu’s statement, the previous administration of ex-Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu operated what was known as ‘Shared Loan Policy’, under that system, with the supervision of their leader the former PDP governor, whatever loan collected and other federal intervention funds received were shared among stakeholders in the party while a little left over may have been employed to scanty infrastructural projects. 

This is not so with the Alex Otti led Labour party government, what has reduced the debt profile is because we employed prudent management of the resources at our disposal for the actual purpose of governance and that is investing on social infrastructure projects and the people’s welfare. This is the reason why the government has reduced so much debt burden on the state and reinforced regular payments of salaries which previous administration could not achieve, as well as payment of arrears of pensions whom some of them have been owed for more than 36 months of the PDP administration.

More so, Whatsoever loans that is accrued to us as a government under the leadership watch of H.E. Gov Alex Otti is purely for projects, infrastructure and rehabilitation of many of the moribund social infrastructures abysmally neglected by the previous administration and that is what has heralded our success.” Said Dr. Nwaigburu

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