The rising debt profile of Abia State has alarmed the All Progressive Grand Alliance, or APGA.
This is because the party has demanded an explanation for the N10 billion loan that the State Government is said to have secured in order to build an airport.
In a news release, APGA’s state chairman, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, warned the Okezie Ikpeazu administration against taking on any further debt since doing so would place the next administration under unnecessary pressure.
However, when contacted, Eze Chikamnayo, the commissioner for information, denied all of the charges, calling them “false, frivolous, and diversionary.”
APGA was responding to the purported attempt by the Abia Polytechnic to borrow N450 million for a bailout after the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, revoked its accreditation as a result of 29 months of unpaid employee pay.
APGA charged the current administration with pushing the state further into debt than required and urged it to reverse the trend.
APGA claims that careful management of Abia’s federation account allocations as well as internally produced income will prevent the state from getting into debt.
“The PDP led administration in Abia State has continued to plunge Abians into inhuman treatment, leaving a huge debt for the incoming APGA government come 2023. Ikpeazu has again borrowed N450 million from a new generation bank, using students as collateral by asking them to pay into the account.
“It is regrettable that this government cannot settle the backlog of unpaid salaries which led to the de-accreditation of Abia State Polytechnic.
“The Retirees are owed almost four years pensions and over 20 years gratuities yet to be addressed.
“Teachers are owed over one year wages and five years leave allowances and the Governor is happy to see them suffering.”
The ongoing protest by physicians at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital ABSUTH Aba over salary arrears of more than 25 months also caused concern from APGA.
“Abia State College of Education Technical Staff are owed almost four years wages and are not paid subventions. Secondary School infrastructure in the state have so deteriorated that they are unfit to be used as piggeries.
“N27.4bn was borrowed for Flood Control in Aba and the funds were abused, tunnel not constructed yet another loan has been taken .
“Despite the prohibitive costs of constructing Port-Harcourt Road, Faulks Road and Osisioma Flyover, they are almost virgin. N10bn was borrowed for Airport Construction in 2021, not even a site cleared.
“Over N7bn has been spent on Abia Government House and it is still a construction site and no work in progress .
“About N1.13bn was claimed for construction of a flyover at Ogbor-Hill and not even a pillar erected.
“Despite the state earning over N1trn in the past 7.5 years, about 55% of Abians are unemployed, with poverty rate at an alarming rate.
“Obviously, the PDP led administration lacks conscience. The hope of an ordinary Abian has been dashed and our youths have been cheated by the PDP administration by denying them employment and decent living. They are waiting to vote out PDP with their PVC.”
But Chikamnayo said the allegations ” are emanating from lazy and lousy political Lilliputian”.
Continuing, Chikamnayo said:” Infantile APGA politicians cannot win election not even in their wards”, adding that ” instead of making false and petty allegations they should go to the electorates and expound what they think is the best alternative to Government programmes and policies”.
The Commissioner said “it is delusionary and self-defeating for any politician to be throwing muds at a time it should be preparing for election.”
He argued that Gov. Ikpeazu” as a rebuilder has done very well in road infrastructure, tele-health, agriculture, oversea scholarship for Abia youths and all sectors”, adding that the Governor has made spirited efforts to leave the state better than he met it.
Leave a Reply