Governor Alex Otti
. Says judicial panel’s report ready next week
. Sends strong message to contractors
By Steve Oko
Governor Alex Otti of Abia State, has vowed that there is no going back in the resolve of his administration to fence the regional Cattle Market Umuchieze as part of the necessary measures to improve security in the area.
Otti who made the vow while responding to a question during a media parley in Umuahia, said the proposal had not been dropped contrary to speculations in some quarters.
He explained that the fund involved in the project required bidding in keeping with due process, hence the little delay so the project could be bided for.
” I can’t be cowed. The amount of money involved in the project is enormous and we want to do bidding. Once we are done, fencing will begin.
” Every right-thinking person not just in Abia but beyond supports our decision to fence the market as a necessary security measure. Those opposing the move are either not properly informed or mischievous.”
The Governor hinted that the preliminary report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the Recovery of Government Property set up by his administration, was ready, and would be presented to him by next week.
He vowed to implement the recommendations of the committee in the interest of the state.
” The panel has told me its report will be ready next week, and when we receive it, we won’t be afraid to do the right thing”.
He further said that contractors who collected money from Government but failed to execute job commensurate to what they collected would soon be invited for explanations.
” We know that a lot of rural roads are in bad condition but we want to tackle the major urban roads with economic importance. When we are done, we will then face the rural areas.
” But in some of the roads, money has been collected over and above the level of work done.
” The contractors will have to answer questions but we are just new and don’t want to begin to quarrel with old contractors”.
Otti who said the state had over-bloated civil servants, disclosed that he had directed that some redundant ones be redeployed to other areas of need including teaching in schools.
” We have too many people in the civil service. The verification we did revealed a lot of things. We have humongous civil servants and I can’t find what some of them are actually doing.
” I have directed the Chief of Staff to redeploy 235 from the Government House but there are more. Those who have capacity to teach will be sent to schools to help out”.
Otti said that the state government under his watch had started paying its counterpart funding, adding that some donor agencies that left the state before now, had started coming back.
He hinted that his administration had invested heavily to restore the accreditation of the College of Medicine for Abia State University Uturu, which was lost during the past administration.
” You know that the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, ABSUTH, lost accreditation before now. But we are investing so much to get the school back to shape.
” We are retrofitting ABSU. New equipment that we procured are being brought in. Very soon the regulatory body for the accreditation of Medical College will be visiting the school, and we are very optimistic that the lost accreditation will be restored”.