In response to circulating social media stories, the Abia State government has refuted claims that it expended close to one billion naira on meals and welfare within the third quarter period. The clarification comes through a press statement issued by Kazie Uko, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Governor Alex Otti.
According to the statement, the actual amount spent on meals and refreshments during the specified period is N223,389,889.84. The figure encompasses expenditures across all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), dispelling the notion that it solely pertains to the Office of the Governor, as suggested in the social media reports.
The press release highlights that this expenditure includes costs related to special events such as retreats, conferences, and other relevant activities. For welfare initiatives, the Abia State Government has allocated a sum of N397,520,734.84. This spending aligns with the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability Programme (SFTAS), a federal government initiative.
It is emphasized in the statement that the welfare expenditure spans across all MDAs and is not exclusive to the Governor’s Office, contrary to the allegations circulating on social media. The welfare expenses address matters concerning health, rehabilitation, and responses to public emergencies.
Governor Alex Otti’s commitment to transparency in administration is underscored in the press release, reinforcing the state’s dedication to accountability and responsible financial management. The government’s statement aims to provide clarity and accurate information amid the public dissemination of misleading figures.