Abia 2023:  Economics according to Dr Alex Otti


One of the qualities that separate Dr Alex Otti, the Labour Party candidate from the other candidates contesting Abia governorship election is his level of brilliance.  Some people call him computer brain. His admirers believe that his level of creativity is what Abia needs at this time to come out of the woods. There is this argument that Abia has been run by dullards that have completely dragged the state downwards to hopelessness and pitiable debt, hence the popular phrase, “Who will bell the cat.

Recently Dr Otti told some journalists that creativity would be much needed in governance in 2023. He warned that time would soon come when there would be no federal allocations for states to share from Abuja.

“We must cut the cost of governance. As we go into 2023, it will be the turn of creativity. Time is coming when there will be no federal allocations for states to share from Abuja. And if you don’t know how to create wealth to run your state, you will be in trouble and the state will fail. This is one of the compelling reasons why Abia people must elect people like us. It will no longer be business as usual. There is an article I did; it is titled; ‘slicing the fat from our pit bellies. It is about cutting the cost of governance.

One of the arguments that have been advanced by his opponents is that his time was 7years ago when he first came out and everybody was rooting for him. People felt he traded his mandate or was careless about protecting it and so lost his chance. Dr Otti has actually come out to debunk the misconception stating how the PDP hijacked the election in barefaced robbery. Contrary to uninformed arguments, he believes that this is the right time for him to be given the mandate to rebuild the state from the mess that the clueless PDP government has dragged it into.

 The governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti is the only candidate that has displayed the mental capacity to challenge the non performing PDP government in the state. Dr Otti recently told how he wrote the African Development Bank, AfDB, to stop them from approving a loan which the state government under Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu , had applied for, because the loan application did not comply with due process.

Dr Otti, accused the state government of falsifying documents in their application to get the loan and alleged that the loan never passed through the state House of Assembly.

He said he had to make efforts to stop the loan because the state government failed to account for the monthly federal allocations, monies collected and the previous loans it obtained from banks and other agencies.

“I stopped the loan, it is not an accusation. I stopped the loan and documented it. I said they can’t have the loan because they falsified documents trying to get the loan.  I did it because before you take that kind of loan, you need to go through your state House of Assembly. But they didn’t.  You also talk of the 200 million Dollars loan. My problem isn’t taking any loan, but what you did with it.  I wrote that they should not have the loan because they have never accounted for the monthly federal allocations, all monies collected and previous loans they collected. I think the people of Abia state should commend me for my action.

If I collect a loan, I should tell the people what I want to do with it and I will return it with profit. It is not that the government shouldn’t take loans but what they do with it.  You take a loan and ‘chop’ it and you come and tell us stories.  I have a stake in this state. If I don’t participate in repaying the loan, my children or my children’s children will participate. So, we need to rise up and not be docile for them to come and tell us stories. I wrote to stop the loan. It is not an accusation.”

Otti pledged to cut the cost of governance in the state if elected governor in 2023, stressing that the people need to elect a governor who has the capacity to create wealth for the citizenry.

One area that the Labour Party governorship candidate in Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, has shown creativity is in the setting up of Signature Bank at this critical time in Nigeria’s economic history.  He said at the unveiling in Abuja that unresolved complaints by customers of various commercial banks in Nigeria and poor responsiveness of the institutions to challenges arising from financial transactions were the major factors that led to the establishment of the Bank.

Dr Otti, founder of the bank said the new bank was established with the aim of giving attention to the dynamic needs of the customer, meeting and satisfying their desired financial yearnings. Analysts believe that Abians will be better for it with the coming on stream of the Bank.

Dr Otti who was a managing director of Diamond Bank said that the journey to establish the bank started in 2017.

Also in his creative economics, Dr Otti, has promised to put an end to the illegal excavation of kaolin and other solid minerals in the state.

He made the promise at Umuopara community in Umuahia South Local Government Area on the second day of his campaign tour of the 17 councils of the state, saying he would put the plunderers of state natural resources out of businesses if elected governor.

Kaolin is found in commercial quatities in Ohiya and other communities in Umuahia South but the mineral has over the years been largely exploited by individuals for their private financial gains.

But Otti assured the people that the exploitation of the mineral resource would be taken from the hands of illegal excavators and legally extracted by government for public good if he gets the mandate to become the state governor in 2023.

He said his administration would set up ceramics industry at Ohiya, which would use the kaolin deposits in the area to produce tiles for local consumption and exports.

Otti said: “There is no reason for us to be importing floor tiles and other kinds of ceramic products from China when we have the raw material here to produce the same and create jobs and businesses for our people.

“The present situation now is that this natural resource is mined illegally by some individuals, some of who are not even Abia people, and shipped abroad.

“They are processed and imported back into Nigeria by some of our people, making us lose the much needed jobs for our people, and of course revenue to develop our state.”

Dr Otti, who addressed business leaders in Aba recently, decried the high number of unemployed Abia indigenes, putting the figure at 51 per cent.

He noted that when the people were not doing anything, social vices including armed robbery, are likely to be on the rise.

“We have a neighbouring state not too far away from us, Benue State. Unemployment in that place is about 11 per cent. In Osun State, the unemployment there is about 12 per cent. But here, we have 51 per cent of our people who are not doing anything,” he said.

“Then you will be wondering, kidnapping is going up, banditry is going up, and insecurity has become the order of the day. Why not? Because we have not done what we are supposed to do. The logic is simple. If I do not have a job, I am a candidate for any type of insecurity.”

The LP governorship candidate also promised to look into the state of the Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway to ameliorate the hardships commuters face while plying the road

He also weighed into the demolition of some shops in Aba by the state government, regretting why the traders will not be compensated.

If elected as governor next year, Otti assured the business leaders that his administration will compensate those affected by the recent demolition exercise.

“One of the first things we would do within the first six months of our administration is to identify all of you and pay you proper compensation. I believe that good governance requires that our people are treated fairly,” he added

Dr. Alex Otti spent close 30 years in banking. He graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Economics from the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria in 1988. He subsequently received an MBA from the University Of Lagos in 1994. His banking career took him from Citibank through United Bank For Africa to First Bank of Nigeria where he rose to the level of Executive Director and Board Member. His last port of call was in Diamond Bank Plc, now merged with Access Bank, where he was Managing Director and CEO for a period of 4 years. He left Banking to offer himself for Public Service where he contested election for the governorship of Abia state.

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