The Abia State Government on Monday, 20th November 2023, refuted accusations claiming that Alex Otti, the state governor, spent more than N900 million on welfare and food, between July and September of 2023.

Alex Otti, Governor of Abia State

According to media sources, Otti spent N927 million on refreshments/meals, honorarium, allowances, and welfare packages in three months.

However, the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr Kingsley Anosike, described the reports as “a reflection of the opposition’s mindset to create mischief,” explaining that the expenditure was not by the governor’s office as alleged, but by the entire ministries, departments, and agencies in the state.

According to Anosike, the government has already spent N223,389,889.84 on meals and refreshments for the duration.

He disclosed that the amount mentioned includes costs for special events like conferences, retreats, and associated activities.

Anosike stressed that Abia State Government has so far spent N397,520,734.84 on welfare in compliance with the Federal Government’s State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability Programme.

He note that all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies were covered by the welfare expenditures, not just the Governor’s

The commissioner stated that contrary to what he described as false claims, falsely welfare spending encompasses all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies in addition to the Governor’s Office.

He went on, “Expenses under welfare address health, rehabilitation, and public emergencies.

Anosike assured Abians that under Otti’s direction, the state government will continue to uphold transparency in governance, as demonstrated by the publication of the budget performance report for two consecutive quarters.