Why insecurity, hunger thrive in Abia State

…as Governor Ikpeazu spent N17.6 billion on self, N8.4 billion on security votes.

A careful study of the Abia State 2018 budget explains the reason for the underdevelopment, crime and abject poverty in the state despite the budget of N140.9 billion.

The 2018 budget of N140.9 billion had a Recurrent Expenditure of N68.4 billion (48.59% of the total Budget outlay) and Capital Expenditure of N72.4 billion (51.41% of the entire Budget outlay).

The government budgeted N32. 3 billion on Personnel Costs, (payment of salaries and pensions) and N17.6 billion on its Overhead Cost (cost of running the government). This is almost 49 per cent of workers’/pensioners wage bill in the state.

In other words, Ikpeazu budgeted N17.6 billion on expenses – entertainment (drinks and food), flight tickets, fuelling of convoys etc. Simply put, the governor spent almost half of the entire workers’ wages on himself.

A careful look at the funds budgeted for the development of some major sectors tells the entire story of Abia State.

For example, the Health Sector got 7.7 per cent; Education, 7.4 per cent; Public Order and Safety (security) 0.8 per cent; and Agriculture 7.72 per cent of the budget.

Surprisingly, while meagre resources were allotted to these major sectors, 15.85 per cent was allotted to the Executive and Legislatures.

Below is the breakdown:

  • Health sector = N5.6 billion (7.7 per cent)
  • Education = N5.4 billion (7.4 per cent)
  • Public Order and Safety = N586 million (0.8 per cent)
  • Executive and Legislative Organs = N2.9 billion (15.85 per cent)
  • Electricity = N200 million (0.65 per cent)
  • Agriculture = N2.3 billion (7.72 per cent)

Some areas of interest are the Housing Development, Street Lighting, Construction and Waste Management were impacts of the funds budgeted were not felt. For example, Housing Development got the budget of N5.2billion, Street Lighting got N150 million, Waste Management N415million and Construction got N25.1 billion.

But where are the Housing Development, Streetlights, Waste Management and Construction in Abia State with these funds budgeted? There’s no housing estate constructed/completed by Ikpeazu’s government. Still, the sum of N5.2 billion was budgeted for it.

Abia State is whelmed in darkness whereas, the sum of N150 million was budgeted for street lighting.

Aba and Umuahia are submerged by refuse dump when the sum of N415 million was provided for it and the roads in the deplorable state while the sum of N25.1 billion was budgeted for construction.

Even some portion of Aba road, Umuahia (not up to five kilometres), is taking Ikpeazu’s government eight years to construct.

The worrisome security challenge is inexplicable when you realised that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu collects N700 million monthly as security vote, i.e. N8.4 billion annually.

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