‘Not A Dime Will Be Borrowed to Finance Recurrent Expenditure,’ Otti Pledges
Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has pledged that not a single dime of borrowed money will be spent on recurrent expenditures in the 2024 budget, themed “A New Beginning”.
During his budget speech to the Abia State House of Assembly, Governor Otti outlined plans to finance the deficit of N401,162,378,914, partly by new borrowings estimated at N385,271,027,214.
He assured that 50% of this borrowing will be sourced externally, while the balance will be procured domestically.
The Governor emphasized that all borrowing in the 2024 fiscal year would be committed strictly to capital development projects with a direct impact on the economy of the state, especially roads, schools, and medical facilities.
He projected that the impact of these projects on the general economy in the medium to long term would generate sufficient returns to enable the state to meet its obligations to creditors smoothly and ultimately pay off the loans in due course.
Governor Otti further assured that all borrowing will be negotiated on terms that are favourable to the state.
He stressed the need to borrow to fund projects that would kick-start the economy and make Abia competitive on a global scale.
He stated, “Rebuilding the state’s public infrastructure requires the sort of targeted financing we cannot immediately access within the state, so there is the need to borrow to fund the projects that would kick-start the economy and make us competitive on a global scale.”
In a bid to ensure transparency, the governor also stated that citizens and other stakeholders would have the opportunity to monitor how the funds are being spent and the impact of the projects on their communities from inception to completion.
“More importantly, the citizens and other stakeholders would have the opportunity to monitor how the funds are being spent and the impact of the projects on their communities, from inception to completion.
This is very important to guarantee transparency, and as a listening government, your inputs will always be very important in our decisions,” he said.
Furthermore, the state proposes in the 2024 fiscal year to commit 44.76% of the budget to the economic sector, with a larger chunk of the resources going into works (16.97%), land and housing (9.9%), agriculture (5.12%), and finance (5.23%).
Otti declared that major resources in the 2024 financial year will be committed to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of some of the most important roads along the major economic corridors of the state.
“The budget has provided for completion of some of the projects we started in 2023 including Port Harcourt Road Aba, Ossah Road, Umuahia-Uzuakoli-Abariba-Ohafia Road, Ozuabam-Ndi Okereke- Arochukwu Road, the dualisation of Umuikaa-Umuene-Omoba Road, Dualisation of Owerrinta-Umuikaa Road, Nunya-Eluama-Isuikwuato Road, Onuimo-Abia Tower Road amongst others as well as the commencement of new road projects in all parts of the state,” he asserted.