The Abia State Government has denied reports that the former administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu left N24 billion in the state’s accounts, describing the reports as false.
Rather, the state government said the past administration left a whopping N191 billion in debt for Otti to grapple with.
The Special Adviser to Governor Alex Otti on Finance, Mike Akpara, made this disclosure in a statement in Umuahia.
Akpara said that the $200 million and $50 million the past administration claimed it left for the new administration were loans they were pursuing which had yet to crystalise.
Akpara said that the Ikpeazu administration also left physical liabilities in all key institutions of Abia State Government, including the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Abia Polytechnic, Aba, among others.
He further disclosed that the summary of Abia State Government balances with different banks as at May 328, 2023 included; loan balance to UBA (8,012,830,371.44), Zenith Bank (21,557,168,761.71), Union Bank (597,637,399.55)And Central Bank (47,760,302,510.12), making a total balance of (77,927,939,042.82) for loan balance while domestic debts were as follows; salaries and subventions arrears (18,162,102,692.92), pension arrears (21,283,876,789.80), gratuity arrears (27,012,996,061.64) and contractors arrears (4,563,186,896.65), leaving a total domestic debt arrears at 71,022,162,441.01.”
He also made public that the external debts of the state are 42,289,206,109.84, making the grand total of debt left for the present administration N191,239,307,593.67.
Akpara added, “If Ikpeazu had the billions he claimed to have left behind for the Governor Otti-led government in April and May, why did he not pay workers and pensioners before leaving office?”
He further alleged that the former governor may be making moves to join the All Progressive Congress, APC, to enjoy cover from justice.
“If Ikpeazu is trying to preempt the anti-corruption agencies by making such provocative false claims, he should know that the anti-corruption agencies work with facts and figures, and even if the former governor runs into the APC to seek refuge, as he plans to do, these anti-corruption agencies would pursue and bring him to justice.”
Last week, a former aide to Okezie Ikpeazu, Ikechuckwu Iroha, listed the financial assets he said his Ikpeazu past government left for Otti before handing over.