On March 22, 2023, Abia state was filled with massive celebrations from indigenes, causing massive traffic gridlocks.
This was because a guy was announced as state governor-elect, thus ending the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)s 22-year rule in Abia State. That guy’s name is Alex Otti.
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Alex Otti, Abia State governor-elect from Labour Party (LP)
But what does his portfolio look like? What are his plans for the Abia people?
Let’s dive in:
The Alex Otti portfolio
We can break up much of Otti’s life into two main segments: Otti as a banker and as a politician:
Otti the Banker
Otti was one you could call an ‘efiko’, having graduated with a first-class degree in Economics from the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT).
He also got a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Lagos (UNILAG). He took courses in reputable schools like Columbia Business School, Wharton Business School, amongst others.
Otti started his banking career in 1989 with the Nigeria International Bank before moving to Nigerian Intercontinental Merchant Bank Ltd.
He also joined Societe Bancaire Nigeria Limited (Merchant bankers) in 1992. After this, he moved to the United Bank of Africa (UBA) as the principal manager overseeing the bank’s corporate banking sector for the south division.
In 2001, he was Assistant General Manager at First Bank. In 2011, he resigned from First Bank Nigeria to Diamond bank as the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.
He later retired from the banking sector in 2014.
Otti, the Politician
Alex Otti came into national prominence in 2015 following controversies around the Abia state elections that year.
Otti was declared the Abia State governor-elect in April 2015. This was after the Court of Appeal reversed Okezie Ikpeazu’s declaration as governor and nullified his votes. Otti contested under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) then and beat Ikpeazu with 164,444 votes, who got 144,444 votes.
But things took a U-turn when on February 3, 2016, the Supreme Court reversed their decision on Ikpeazu and re-declared him governor of Abia State. The court struck out Otti’s appeal for “not having merit.”
It may be interesting to note that Ikpeazu’s reign as governor was marred by many corruption allegations, such as the wiring of government funds worth ₦3.4 billion to political associates, owing of ex-civil servant pensions for more than 45 months and many more.
What is Otti’s agenda for the Abia people?
In his interview with ThisDay, Otti says that the people of Abia State can expect the following from him if he is elected as governor:
Otti plans to give more public servants training in technology-based skills to increase productivity. He has also promised more partnerships with local trade unions, chambers of commerce, industry and agriculture, community development associations and town unions.
Rule of Law:
The Otti-led government aims to provide technology to aid the judiciary in the judicial process and decongesting courts.
He also plans to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms for commercial and minor cases.
Otti seems very enthusiastic about using the key mineral resources in Abia to gain wealth for the state.
He states, “ We have ceramic, quality clay, kaolin, bentonite, limestone, phosphate, copper, lead, zinc, gypsum, and other solid minerals that can yield revenue in local and foreign currencies to the state. The present situation is that these minerals are being mined without control and care for the environment, resulting in erosion and other negative impacts on the environment.
A coal mine in Abia state [Foreign Investment Network]
We will structure mining activities in the state to enable us extract full value; create jobs, collect revenues and ensure that the environment is not permanently harmed, introduce the use of technology to regulate and monitor the activities of miners, to ensure that they are operating strictly according to the terms of their respective permits.”