The Economic Transformation Council, set up by Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, has disclosed why the state spent N5.32 billion on the governor’s office in the third quarter of 2023.
Co-chair of the council, Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe, explained that the government created a unit in the governor’s office to coordinate strategies and project executions, eliminating the need for more than 15 ministries.
Ekekwe stated this while responding to critics who accused the state of lavish spending.
He said that the new unit has made the government’s processes more integrated and optimized and has ultimately led to a reduction in the cost of governance.
The council also pointed out that Ebonyi State, which spends N805 million on its governor’s office, has a larger bureaucracy and consumes billions from the state purse to maintain its 35 ministries.
Ekekwe said, “Ebonyi State uses 35 commissioners and ministries. In Abia State, we suggested to the governor to stay below 20 commissioners/ministries. But to run things, the state created a Unit within the Governor’s Office to drive the coordination of strategies, project coordination, project executions, etc, making the government processes more integrated and optimised.
“That Unit works to ensure things are done. Also, it essentially eliminated more than 15 ministries in Ebonyi State if we have to compare. Of course, because of that Unit, the expense in the Governor’s Office seems higher but when you check what it eliminated, Abia State has a better cost efficiency. Looking at the data, Ebonyi State has a larger cumulative recurrent expenditure when compared with Abia State.”
The Abia government’s budget performance report for 2023 Q3 shows that out of N15.34bn budgeted for the office of the governor, N5.32bn was spent in Q3, while a total of N7.41bn was spent from January 2023 to September 2023.
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The office of the deputy governor only spent N252.42m in Q3 and a total of N412m between Q1 and Q3 out of the N924.2m budgeted for the office for the full year of 2023.
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