N1.5bn For 2 Hilux Vans In Abia’s 2024 Budget An Error — Gov Otti

Abia State governor, Alex Otti, has attributed the controversial provision of N1.5billion for the purchase of two Hilux vans in the State’s 2024 budget to a software glitch generated by the Excel package used in preparing the fiscal document.

Otti made the clarification on Tuesday while answering questions from journalists in the commercial city of Aba.

An online news platform had reported that the state government budgeted N1.5billion for the purchase of two Toyota Hilux vans in the 2024 budget.

In the report, the breakdown of the budget showed N5,946,756,437 was voted for the purchase of motor vehicles, N2,704,980,600 for the purchase of vans, N949,000,000 for the purchase of trucks, and N3,011,804,906 for the purchase of buses.

But, speaking at Eziukwu Road Market in Aba where he had visited to sympathise with some traders who lost their goods in a fire incident that occurred in the market on Monday, the governor noted that he immediately cross-checked the figures following the report and realised there was a mix-up.

“When I saw that report, I knew something was wrong. I knew it could either be the units or the price. So, I called the Commissioner for Budget and Planning and asked him to check it out and call me back. He did and reported that it was neither the units nor the price that was wrong but the Excel. If you use Excel and the formula is not very right on a particular line, you’re bound to have a problem like that.

“It’s a mistake that has been corrected.

“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. The overall numbers are correct and the figure of N1.5 billion was N150 million; two units of Hilux vans at N75 million each will give you N150 million, two units of Hilux vans at N75 million each will give you N150 million, that’s the correct number,” Governor Otti stated.

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