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Otti secures $125m loan to implement 2024 budget



Dr Alex Otti 1 e1691439824850

Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, says the state government intends to get loans to implement the 2024 budget, noting that the Islamic Development Bank has already approved $125 million for the state.

Otti revealed this on Monday during an interview with journalists in Umuahia, the state capital.
He noted that the African Development Bank has also approved cash for the state.

The governor said, “Two days ago, the Islamic Development Bank approved the sum of $125 million for us under AB Seed, as well as the African Development Bank, AfDB. All is yet to be drawn until after perfection.

“We have received offers of loans from commercial banks, but we have not drawn on any of them. We do not want to draw loans until we need them and will repay when we have liquidity, and we will pay later.”

Concerning wage awards or salary increases, the governor informed workers that his administration had not abandoned its commitment, noting that a commission is currently in place on the subject.

“We had promised that by the end of this month, we would resolve the lingering pension issues. In our executive council meeting today, we had some resolutions, and soon, pensioners will be settled,” he said.

According to Otti, the local government accounts are not tampered with, stating, “Mayors are grading roads and building health centres. I don’t know where else they are getting the money from.”

On infrastructure, Otti stated that, “Abia will continue with our massive road rehabilitation, light up Abia, improvement in the health system, and the resolve to retrieve the education system that has been going down,”  adding that 170 primary schools and 51 secondary schools have been earmarked to be rehabilitated so that at the end of the year, all schools will be fully rehabilitated.

He stated that the state government has created the greatest models for Abia schools, such that “the Abia standard schools will look a certain way.”

He went on to say that educated teachers will teach pupils about 21st-century topics like the internet, renewable energy, and digital technology, among others, in order to make Abia students competitive in the global market.

However, he stated that the state government would assure the quality and abilities required to teach the pupils by ensuring the correct training for the instructors, saying, “We have received lots of support from multilateral agencies. We are not alone.”

Speaking on health, Otti said, “We will continue to improve healthcare delivery in the state,”  stating also that in terms of food security, the state has a lot of initiatives to deal with hunger and is working round the clock to ensure that all lands in Abia will be cultivated this planting season.”