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A governor and poverty of Ideas part 2 – Uche Aguoru

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AN analytical assessment of the financial accruals into Abia state government’s accounts between may 29th, 2015 to September 2016. Abia state had recorded a financial inflow of approximately 52. 693,000,710 billion Naira from the federal accounts allocation committee (FAAC), and an approximation of the sum of 18, 283,000,000 billion Naira has been received from the joint accounts committee (JAC).

A rough estimate of our Internally generated revenue (IGR) leaves us at 19,349,444,263,72 billion Naira. While it is also an open knowledge that the Abia state government has received in like sum the amount of 4 billion Naira as education grant, 1.5 million dollars (675,000,000 six hundred and seventy five million Naira) as health grants from world health organization. One billion Naira agricultural loan, 30 billion Naira foreign loan, and the state also benefitted from the federal government bailout fund of 14.152 billion Naira.

A computation of all these figures leaves us at a humongous sum of 140,923,000,000 billion and this is an under-reckoning from the actual figure accrued to the state accounts from the inception of this administration from May 29th 2015 to September 2016.

One thing I have come to understand in life and which has become sacrosanct is that, never at any point in the life of a government or an organization, has it been recorded, that a government or an organisation has all the money needed to perform its statutory functions.

Dr. M.I.Okpara,as the premier of the the Eastern Region,never had petro-dollar when he built modern ceramics industry,Golden Guinea Breweries,Nigercem Nkalagu, Anamco in Emene and other cottage industries within his time as premier.

Chief Sam Onunaka Mbakwe was not dependent on federal allocations,infact it wasn’t just coming when he built the Imo Airport, the International Glass Industry, Concorde hotel Owerri, Ogwe Golden Chicken, Abia state university, Ariaria international market etc.

Today, we are privy to the building of a garment industry described as the largest in Africa by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, while his Akwaibom state counterpart has revived Premier Fisheries a state government owned fishing firm and had also revived the Moribund Akwa Ibom cocoa scheme amongst other agricultural schemes that has been brought back to life under Udom Emmanuel’s administration, it will amount to trying to place death ahead of life any attempt made at comparing Anambra under Obiano to Abia under Ikpeazu.

Ebonyi which has all along received negative knocks from the media and political analysts are now being placed as second in the South East in administrative excellence and delivery of democratic dividends to its citizens with the giant strides of Governor Dave Umahi in the area of agricultural,industrial and infrastructural revolution in Ebonyi state, Enugu state whose performance rating in governance dropped under the Ugwuanyi administration is still far ahead of Abia in payment of salaries, service delivery to the citizenry, rural infrastructure and human capital development. while Imo Under Owelle Rochas Okorocha and Abia under Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu PhD. are struggling for a place in who will outdo each other in the bottom position.

One striking fact that every political watcher will have to take home is that all the South East and South South states here mentioned, receives less allocation than Abia state except for Akwaibom.

That Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has performed abysmally is not as a result of paucity of funds but what political watchers has described as poverty of ideas, misplaced priorities, lack of prudence in financial management and excessive engagement in frivolities rather than essentialism, weak and unclear economic policies, and laziness in governance and wealth creation etal.
Dr Ikpeazu has proved through his governance style that he lacks the required wisdom to handle the economic steering wheel of a state like Abia, with the abundance of human and material deposits domiciled in the state and begging to be harnessed to improve the economic fortunes of the state. The immediate question on the lips of all economic followers and analysts has been, what has Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu PhD. done with all the funds stated above and accrued to the state coffers from the beginning of the life of this administration till date.

Why are the teachers being owed for upwards of 6 months and counting?
Why are the pensioners being owed for more than 16 months?
Why are workers in the ministries, agencies and parastatals crying over the inability of the state government to settle their salaries and wages for more than 6 months?
Why is it that council staff across the 17 LGA,s have not received their salaries for a period of 7 months stating the least?
Why are all the roads in Abia practically impassable despite all the media noise and hype?
Why has refuse taken over the streets of Aba and Umuahia and the people now resort to self help by burning them right inside the waste buckets to avert a possible outbreak of epidermic?
Why is there no pipe borne water and no budgetary approvals of running it despite the huge allocations channeled to the ministry of infrastructure and water resources?
Why are schools not being renovated despite processing and receiving grants to that effect?
Why are all the markets in Abia left to rot away despite the heavy taxation and in most cases double taxation on the traders?
Why has hoodlums,criminals and 419ers taken over the streets of Aba and Umuahia and nothing is being done to check their nefarious activities, why are the doctors and nurses in the government owned hospitals always on strike as a result of governments inability to pay the salaries and allowances of the health workers and no drugs provided in our hospitals?
Why why why and why will only a handful of politicians and cronies of the governor be living in abundance while the rest of the citizenry wallow in penury and lack.

Juxtapose the funds so far received from the federation account, the internal and external borrowings, the internally generated revenues, and other grants that the government has received within a period of one year and five months as against what the administration of Dr. Ikpeazu has done within same period one cannot help but shudder and marvel in horror as to what will become of the economic future of Abia state under Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu PhD if the gods at the temple of justice allow him to take charge of the economic affairs of the state in the next two years.

Aguoru-Writes from Umuahia.

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