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Re- Premium Times Report: Under Ikpeazu, Abia Never Received N1.9 Trillion As Alleged By Alex Otti

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KPMG on 2nd of March 2024 submitted their final report on the Provision of process review services of the Abia state government to the Governor through the Accountant General of Abia State Mrs Njum Onyemenam.

The report covered the period from 29th of May 2015 to 28th of May 2023. The Page 2 of the 360 report has restrictions and caveats on the distribution of this report as they stated it is a mere process review and never a forensic audit as it’s inconclusive.

The Abia state government has been trying to fly kites using this report to portray the past administration of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu as being reckless in the management of Abia state funds during the period under review.

They started with N10b Contractor finance Scheme initially earmarked for Abia Airport project which was later redirected and cancelled as funds were channelled towards payments of local contractors for road projects. Even when evidential documents were produced, contractors names stated and identified, the amounts paid were made public, the Government of Alex Otti continued in their blackmail just to paint a different picture whereas worse situations are going on as evidenced in their financial report of Qtr 4 of 2023 and Qtr1of 2024 as stated and hoisted on Abia state website (abiastate.gov.ng)

The KPMG report on page 30 sub 2.4 under the Executive Summary as attached stated that the total collection and utilization of funds from the Federation Account Committee (FAAC )for the period under review was N468,357,645,293.64.

Under the same Executive Summary page 31 sub 2.6 as attached stated that total IGR (internally Generated Revenue) stood at 82,610, 062,726.79. All these represent about 90% of expected revenue within the period under review, we can now imagine how N1.9 trillion was manufactured by Alex Oti and his co-travelers as never in the report did KPMG mention such figures in the whole of the 360 page report.

The attached documents( which represents the sectoral analysis of Abia receipts)are from the Abia State financial report as approved, signed and sealed by past and present Accountant Generals and Commissioners of finance of the state. This report as hoisted on the Abia state website represents the financial position of the state at various times from 2015 to 2022, It has been summarized and analyzed as follows.

Total Revenue which includes revenues from FAAC allocation and IGR Internally Generated Revenue 2015 to 2022 stood at N597,462, 453.105.67.

From the data above N216.679.541.267.70 was used as Salaries (Personnel Cost.

N251,330, 156,108.34 was used for Capital project payment.

N158.679.675.678.86 was used as Overhead.

While these figures may have little variations to the last kobo in summation, at least ,it gives a picture of what Abia got during the period under review .We are convinced Abia state government under Dr Okezie Ikpeazu never received more than N630b (Gross figure)as FACC, VAT allocation or loans and Grants. The 360-page KPMG report never mentioned any figure higher than N550b as a total receipt as stated on pages 30 and 31of the KPMG report . The question begging Gov Otti and his co-travelers is how he(they) arrived at N1.9 trillion being total receipts, not to talk of being misappropriated.

We are not ignorant of the unending efforts of the present government to paint a bleak picture of the administration of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu instead of focusing on the job which they were voted for. It is instructive to note that within 9 months of Gov Otti’s administration, a whopping sum of about N300b has passed through the government. N160b being the total receipt of both FAAC and JAAC from June 2023 to March 2024 as evidenced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) report and Debt Management Office (DMO), the N100b naira borrowed from Access Bank of which Creanboug Construction own by late Herbert Wige got N50b and N45b from Union Bank using the JACC account as security. This has denied the local governments the needed funds as the Governor gives each local government N100m montly instead of unfiltered access to the local government funds as promised by labour Party during the campaigns.

Abians are yet to witness the kind of postive changes commensurate with level of funds received by the government. Today , Abia state government receives average of N15b montly outside the IGR of 1b. This is against an average of N7B received by the State within the period under review .

Abia workers including Pensioners are still being owed as stated in the NLC letter to the Governor and the much trumped infrastructural development is only on social media as most of the things we see is patching and maintenance, in their words “retrofitted” projects.

Abia state during the period of Okezie Ikpeazu never received half of the amount stated by Premium Times as allocation or revenue within the 8 years and with the explanations as contained in the summary sheet , Alex Otti and his co marauders, propagandists should leave Dr. Ikpeazu and focus on his job as Abians eagerly expect the “NEW ABIA” promised.

Uche Aguoru .A public Analysts and commentator.

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