Governor abandons multi-billion naira office, runs government from home

Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has abandoned a newly built multi-billion naira Government House in Umuahia, the state capital, since assuming office about six months ago.

He is running the government from his country home outside of Umuahia, according to findings by PREMIUM TIMES.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had, on 22 March, declared Mr Otti of the Labour Party as the winner of the 18 March governorship election in the state. He was sworn in as the fifth elected governor of Abia State on 29 May.

The administration of the former governor of the state, Okezie Ikpeazu, had commissioned the new Government House on 28 May, a day before the end of his tenure.

Mr Ikpeazu’s administration inherited the project – which is at Ogurute Layout in Umuahia, a few metres from the State Secretariat – from his predecessor, Theodore Orji, who initiated and built it up to the roofing stage.

PREMIUM TIMES could not confirm the total amount of money Mr Orji’s administration spent on the project. However, a statement issued by the administration on 29 October, 2012 indicated that the government paid N175 million just for the fencing.

Similarly, the exact amount spent on the project by Mr Ikpeazu’s administration is unclear, although officials say it must have gulped several billions of naira before it was commissioned.

The new Government House is a two-storey mansion, with a network of tarred roads. It has a large swimming pool. The building, painted white, wears a sparkling look. At the right-hand side of the mansion, lies a separate two-storey building, said to be the governor’s lodge.

There are two security gates in the entrance to the complex.



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