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Alex Otti warns as thieves damage public gutters in Aba, sell off rods as scraps

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Abia State Governor, Alex Otti has condemned the activities of some persons who go about destroying the slabs used in covering gutters in some parts of Aba, remove the rods and sell them as scraps.

The Governor who made the observation at the Government House, Umuahia, while answering questions from journalists during this month’s edition of his media chat with Abia people, said it was a criminal act for anybody to damage property built for public use.

He warned that a task force has already been set up to arrest those carrying out the destruction, adding that anyone caught would be prosecuted by a mobile court.

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The Governor denied the allegations that the State government is tampering with funds meant for local governments in the State.

He noted that local government chairmen in the State could not be carrying out some developmental projects in their areas if the Abia State government hijacked funds from them.

He said there was no way his administration would hijack local government funds and challenged those with the allegations to present their evidence.

“There is no truth in that. You know it is not possible. We don’t operate in a system where snakes and rats swallow money. If they have proof let them bring it”, Otti said.

He also disclosed that some government agricultural lands that were concessioned to some persons by past administrations in the State have been returned to the State by those who got the lands, adding that some of the persons are demanding refund of their payments.

The Governor announced the award of 11km Nunya-Isiukwato Road and Ozu Abam-Okobo-Arochukwu Road, saying that their construction would be flagged off on Wednesday.

Otti, who defended the introduction of work attendance recording devices in local governments, said any civil servant who did not record above 70% in attendance was not entitled to receive a monthly salary.

He reassured retirees in the State that his promise to clear their pensions by the first quarter of the year still stands, adding that 66,000 civil servants are currently receiving salaries in the state’s civil servants.

Otti said that his administration is doing everything possible to ensure that the case of some civil servants who have not received their salaries are tackled.

He further said that 170 primary schools and 51 secondary schools were to be remodelled in 2024, while the educational curriculum would be modernized to include artificial intelligence, among others.

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