Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has said following the passing, approval and signing into law of the state’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, the state will never remain the same.
Otti said this on Thursday at a civic reception organised in honour of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, by the Abia Government at the International Conference Center, Umuahia.
Otti described the deputy speaker as a good man with a good spirit, who should be celebrated.
He added that the deputy speaker deserves all the encomium from the people of Abia state.
Kalu, from Abia State, represents Bende Federal Constituency on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, while Governor Otti belongs to the Labour Party
But Otti said that the deputy speaker had distinguished himself in his legislative duties and has contributed immensely toward improving the security and welfare of the people of the Abia State.
According to him, the State Government decided to honour him, regardless of his political party, to appreciate his laudable contributions and selfless service to the state.
He said that in a bid to rebuild the state, the 2024 budget had been designed to be a reflection of Abia’s dream to be the best in the comity of states.
He said, “Just a few hours ago, I signed into Law the 2024 Abia Appropriation Bill.
“We decided to take the bull by the horn and thought that we should have a budget that reflects our dreams.
“When you have a vision and articulate it well, the money will come.
“With the support of everyone in Abia, particularly the state House of Assembly, the National Assembly members, and the populace, our story will never be the same again.”
He thanked members of the National and State Assemblies and the people for their support and urged them to expect better things in 2024.
Speaking at the event, Kalu said that quality governance focuses on ensuring sustainable socio-economic development and transcends political affiliations.
The lawmaker called on the people of the state to set aside political differences and become united in purpose for the greater good of the state.
“I am proud to assert that my leadership philosophy revolves around the idea that we can only impact well when we partner well, irrespective of political affiliations.
“I want to declare to Nigerians that the governor of Abia is my truest partner in the development of this state.
“I firmly believe that every leader, whether in the opposition or the ruling party has a role to play in the development of the state,” Kalu said.
He further said that through collaborative efforts and shared commitment to progress, the state would be able to find innovative solutions and make significant strides toward a better future.
Kalu commended Governor Otti for the respectful relationship existing between him and President Bola Tinubu, adding that unity remains a crucial factor for the prosperity of Abia.
He also commended Otti for his patriotic mindset, commitment to nation building and inspirational leadership style, adding that it had inspired him to strive for excellence in discharging his duties.
Kalu further commended the Abia Government for allocating 84 per cent of the 2024 budget to capital projects to foster sustainable development in the state
He said that the budget was an indication that the governor was steering Abia in a transformative direction that would encourage prudent fiscal management and strategic investment of public funds.
In their goodwill messages, the former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, the former Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, Sen. Darlington Nwokocha and Sen. Nkechi Nwogu (both former lawmakers), said that Kalu had distinguished himself in politics and deserved to be celebrated.
They commended Otti for his developmental strides in Abia and described the synergy between him and Kalu as commendable, irrespective of their party differences.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Johnson Chukwu, commended the State Government for organising a reception in honour of Kalu.
Chukwu described the event as “uncommon” because the governor and the celebrant belonged to different political parties.
He charged politicians to change their orientation towards politics, adding that political parties were vehicles to political positions and should not be treated as more important than governance.
He said that politics was all about delivering purposeful leadership and touching the lives of the people positively.
The event featured conferment of the chieftaincy title of “Enyi Abia” on the celebrant by the state Council of Traditional Rulers.
The ceremony was attended by members of the National and State Assemblies, among other prominent Abia politicians and top government functionaries.