The Abia State Government has responded to allegations suggesting that Governor Alex Otti expended over N900 million on feeding and welfare between July and September 2023. Reports circulating online claimed that Otti’s office spent N927 million during this period on refreshments, honorarium settlements, allowances, and welfare packages.
In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Kingsley Anosike, the government refuted these claims, labeling them as a product of oppositional mischief. Anosike clarified that the expenditure was not specifically from the Governor’s office but encompassed the collective spending of all ministries, departments, and agencies within the state.
The statement aimed to provide clarity following the publication of the Q3 budget report of the Abia State Government, emphasizing the government’s commitment to transparency, good governance, and fiscal discipline.
Anosike explained that the reported figure of close to N1 billion was not solely attributed to the Governor’s Office but covered expenses for statewide events like retreats, conferences, and related functions. He further delineated the welfare expenditure of N397,520,734.84, emphasizing its alignment with the Federal Government’s program on Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability.
This welfare spending was distributed across all 76 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in the state, addressing matters concerning health, rehabilitation, and public emergencies. Anosike clarified that the presentation of the figures lacked precision and had been misrepresented, emphasizing the comprehensive nature of the expenses across the state’s entities rather than being exclusive to the Governor’s Office.