Nigerian News

N1.5bn for Hilux in Abia budget caused by software error – Governor Otti

Governor of Abia State, Alex Otti, has said that the 1.5 billion naira initially budgeted for two Toyota Hilux vehicles was an error from a software used by the state ministry of budget and national planning.

He made the clarification on Tuesday at Ezeukwu road market in Aba, while responding to a question by a journalist, adding that it was actually N150 million his administration added in the budget for the purchase.

There were earlier concerns following media reports that Abia State Government had voted N1.5 billion to purchase two units of Hilux vehicles in its 2024 budget.

Otti, who was at Ezeukwu Market to sympathise with some traders, who lost their goods in a fire incident that occurred in the market on Monday night, attributed the controversial figure to a software glitch generated by the Excel package used in preparing the budget document, but said the error has been corrected to intended 150 million naira.

He said; “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.

“But suffice it to say that anything that comes from government must be correct. It is an error, and it has been corrected. I must thank the people who pointed out the error. It means that people are vigilant; people are checking and I encourage people to check, hold government to account.

“I believe that our people should remain awake and be vigilant and hold governments to account because the governments are governments of the people, for the people and by the people and that is the definition of democracy.

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