Sunday, June 11, 2023 12:05 pm
Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, the immediate past governor of Abia State, has faulted the claim of his successor, Alex Otti, that he left only debts “without leaving any cash or assets behind.”
Ikpeazu said he left N6 billion in the government’s coffer, adding that the Abia State Government was not owing any commercial bank, including temporary overdrafts as of the time he left office.
As contained in a statement signed by Ikpeazu’s ex-media aide, Ikechukwu Iroha, on Saturday, June 10, “Abia State under the watch of Dr Ikpeazu invested $5,000,000.00 in Geometric Power Company. That’s a near-cash asset.
“As of Friday, 9th June 2023, the state received N24 billion through the Nigeria Governors’ Forum as part of a total of N48 billion standing to the credit of the state. The money was earned under the watch of Dr Ikpeazu.”
He stated that Ikpeazu’s administration “perfected $50 million World Bank facility at a 0.06 per cent interest rate with 10 years repayment moratorium for the construction of more than 500km roads, including dilapidated Port Harcourt Road, Aba.
He added: “The implication is that the current administration can commence drawing down on that facility from day one to construct critical roads in Abia State and will not have to repay the money over the pendency of its tenure, assuming it is up to 8 years.
“African Development Bank facility of $200 million processed by the Ikpeazu administration is also ready for the new administration to access for construction of rural roads.”
Iroha said while the Ikpeazu administration superintended over the state for most of May 2023, it is the current administration that will receive the FAAC allocation for that month.
He noted that the Internally Generated Revenue for the month of May 2023 is also available to the new administration.
Ikpeazu’s ex-aide stated: “Prior to the exit of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu from office, Abia State Government and the office of the accountant general of the federation reconciled their accounts with N6 billion standing to the credit of the state.
“What that also says is that the Ikpeazu administration was not owing the federal government but rather it was FGN that owed the state. The current administration has access to that additional fund of N6 billion.
“While we are still expecting the new administration to give the detailed composition of the alleged debts left behind by the Ikpeazu administration, it is safe to say that they are mostly long-term development facilities, contractor debts, and possibly outstanding payments to pensioners and salary earners.
“It is my candid view that the new administration in the state can smoothly take off and service state liabilities with what it has without screaming or yelling.”