You got the news that Abia State spent “N927 million On Meals, Welfare Packages In Three Months, etc” by a media organization. First, it was all fake news because if you check the same document the media people shared, Abia State ought to have been commended.
It is key to understand that Abia State is still operating on an old budget which was approved before the current government took over. Using “refreshment & meals, etc”, the budget was N624m but the state performance was N233m. The media firm should have commended the government for that reduction.
But what happened was muddling things up to attack the state. Abia State is the most transparent government in Nigeria, considering that it publishes all expenses and revenues regularly. That some now use that data to confuse will not stop what Mr. Governor is doing.
More so, I understand that the media group noted that the government is spending on “information and propaganda”. Unfortunately, there is nothing like information and propaganda. That data includes expenses for running Abia Broadcasting Corporation (BCA), Abia Newspaper, State Tourism Board, etc. Abia does not have money to pay adverts in TV stations, newspapers, etc. That cost is for operating units which are used to inform and update Abians.
Good People, there is nothing factual from what the media guy published and the state has responded. As noted, using Ebonyi’s Government House is not fair because Ebonyi runs 35 ministries/commissioners while Abia uses less than 20 but expanded the Governor’s Office to support those “eliminated” 15 ministries. Where it matters, Abia does well: Abia generates more IGR than Ebonyi even though, cumulatively, Abia spends less on running the government by billions of Naira. So, picking the Government House ONLY expense is deceptive.
This image has continued to move from timeline to timeline. But the comparison is not particularly fair. The Alex Otti government has since addressed it on radio. But it appears many on Twitter did not follow the explanations. I will go ahead and speak to it now. pic.twitter.com/M53dleQsDv
— Nedu Ekeke (@Nedunaija) November 20, 2023
Why do I take time to explain these things? Because I want you to have confidence that Abia is a place to do business. We want you to believe and that is why we publish the latest budget performance regularly which is unprecedented in Nigeria
Download Abia State’s latest budget performance here.
(I am not part of the government. I am an Abian. I am only responding based on the same document they used. Download and read it yourself.)
From the state….
ABIA STATE Q3 BUDGET EXPENSES: UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUES
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.
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.
The facts are as stated below:
- 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.
The figure above is as captured in all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.
Please, NOTE that this figure is for the entire state and not for the Office of the Governor, as being erroneously portrayed.
The stated figure covers expenses for special events, such as retreats, conferences, and related events.
For welfare, the Abia State Government has so far spent the sum of N397,520,734.84.
The Welfare expenditure is in line with the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme (SFTAS); an initiative of the Federal Government.
Also NOTE that the Welfare Expenditure covers all the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and not just the Governor’s Office, as wrongly alleged.
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.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
November 20, 2023
Special Adviser to the Governor
Media and Publicity
November 20, 2023
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