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Rights Group, Raise Alarm Over Alleged Looting Of Abia Govt. Properties Towards End Of Ex- Governor Ikpeazu’s Administration.

…… Calls For  Probe,  Financial Discipline. 

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Foremost  Civil Society group in Abia State, under the platform of Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development, FENRAD, has Condemned in its entirety the alleged looting spree that marked the end of the immediate past administration in the state led by former governor, Okezie Ikpazu.

The pro-democracy Organization, said it became alarmed following various calls by the new governor, Dr Alex Otti, urging public and civil servants, including appointees who appropriated public properties to themselves at the twilight of the last administration to return them to government.

According to the Organization, as an environmental rights advocacy group, FENRAD, had observed in an earlier release how public schools and hospitals were being converted to private businesses, including schools losing some land portion converted to other uses, even the religious. 

The group in a press statement signed by its Executive Director,  Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, and made available to African Examiner on Wednesday in Enugu, said  “this is a sad development considering that all of these gadgets or equipment were purchased with taxpayers’ money, not personal money.

” Again, FENRAD worries because Abia had fallen on hard times with debt stock both foreign and domestic limiting budgetary performance.

” This is not the time for the state government to fritter resources away on what had been looted. Already the infrastructure gap in Abia is deficit and huge, requiring therefore that no single attention be diverted to official looting of public property and equipment. 

“Already, the Abia treasury looks lean, so  of what use is looting of public properties in health institutions, government offices and departments. 

“FENRAD calls on Governor Alex Otti to, in the economic interest of the state, go the extra mile in meting out due punitive measures on the perpetrators of this act. 

“The Foundation also wishes to use this medium to urge that activities of certain headmasters and headmistresses in the state be reviewed.

 “This call is as a result of the lawless and reckless conversion of school and public buildings to  religious centres and churches. 

“Lastly, FENRAD understands the logic behind government placing a no-post-debit on all Abia accounts,  the Foundation believe will help the new government normalise authority. 

“Same goes to the interim suspension of use of tax force not approved by the government to collect taxes. 

It noted that study has revealed that Abia  revenue, had over the years been shrinking and needs to be shored up to help budget performance and financing. 

“The last tax regime, which by the way enthroned and contracted taxation out to unprofessional bodies, left a lot of leakages and loopholes. 

“While the state quoted internal revenue to fall within ₦14bn annually, using its indices and blueprint, the Foundation is doubly convinced the state was in the intervening years shortchanged. Only flying revenues, if harmonised, can near or more than half that figure.  

“That said, we wish to call on all the MDAs and various permanent secretaries and Heads of board as presently reconstituted, to work in the interest of the state towards achieving stability in fiscal and financial policies of the state. 

“This period, in the history of the state, calls for financial discipline and disclosure; not secrecy. It is our belief that the government will in time relax the restriction on the account and restructure taxation to create buffer around social security and other such investment capable of lifting Abians out of poverty as the state has fallen on hard times. 


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