Abia State Was Not Created In 2015 – Ururuaja Writes Governor Alex Otti

Read the statement by Ururuaja. below…

Dear Governor Alex Otti,


Anyone who read the Press Release signed by officials of the Otti administration yesterday wherein they indiscriminately bandied financial records will think that Abia State was created in 2015 and that Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu is the first Governor ever to preside over the affairs of the State.

The impression created by that release is that Ikpeazu left debts of over 191 Billion Naira!

That is not correct.

The figures they threw around yesterday represents the total debt stock of Abia State, some of which were inherited by the State when it was created in 1991.

When the East Central State was carved out of the Eastern region in the 1960s, the then new state inherited assets and liabilities, including loans.
Same thing happened when Imo State was carved out of the then East Central State, then down to the time Abia was created from Imo.

Again, some components of the loan stock represents loans and advances whose repayment periods fall outside the entirety of the maximum period Otti can spend as Governor.
There are loans inherited by the Ikpeazu administration whose repayment periods are way beyond the tenure of the Ikpeazu administration.
Part of what they described as Domestic Debts left by the Ikpeazu administration include the interventions made by the Federal Government during the period of recession. Things like bailout funds and those other funds given to every state and whose repayment won’t even mature under Otti, assuming he spends 8 years as Governor.

It is therefore disingenuous for Governor Otti to create a false impression of the financials of the State.
If they wanted to be honest with the records, they could have segmented the financial records to show how much was the debt stock of the State in 2015 and how much it is today.
For instance, gratuities were paid last in Abia State in 2003. All retirees who left the public service from 2004 till date are owed gratuities. Was Ikpeazu Governor by 2004? Indeed, the only attempt made since 2004 to pay any form of gratuities was by the Ikpeazu administration in his first tenure.

Again, there is nothing magical about the loan stock of Abia State. Some of these figures multiply by exchange rate differentials. I will explain.
If a loan of Two Million Dollars was taken say in 2010 when the exchange rate was about 150 Naira to a dollar, and such loan will become due for repayment in 2023, in calculating the current value of the loan, it will now be calculated using the current exchange rate of over 700 Naira to the Dollar. Naturally, the amount due for repayment will not become so massive that those hearing it for the first time won’t understand thr dynamics.
Once a loan is dollar denominated, exchange rate volatility will impact on it and this situation is beyond the control of a State Government. Otti, the banker knows these things.
Besides, there are states in this country whose total loan stocks are more than 100% higher than ours, and these includes the very very rich states.

Finally, Otti, as a banker and economist knows that loans are part of the workings of an economic system. No economy can run effectively without some form of financial support.
Otti himself will take loans. He said so himself. Indeed, he would have taken loans by now if not that the Debt Management Office of the Federal Government has a policy of not approving loans by State Government for the purpose of salary payment.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking away and his own salary liabilities are piling up gradually.

Dear Governor Sir, propaganda doesn’t pay salaries nor build roads.

Thank you Sir.


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