The governor of Abia State, Alex Otti has reacted to reports of a proposed procurement of two Toyota Hilux vehicles at the cost of N1.5 billion in the state annual budget.
Otti budgeted the amount for the purchase of two vehicles.
Another N721 million was also budgeted and approved by the state assembly for the “Purchase of 2 No of Nissan Trucks for Government House”.
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However, Otti while reacting to a question on the report that his government had voted N1.5 billion to purchase two units of Toyota Hilux vehicles in the 2024 budget, said that it was an error glitch caused by the excel package used in preparing the budget document.
Vanguard quoted the governor as saying, “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 are bound to have a problem like that. It’s a mistake that has been corrected.
“When the news of the bloated figure got to me, I immediately had to cross-check the budget numbers and found that the N1.5 billion was not translated to the total budget figure.
“In statistics and even in accounting, there is what is referred to as the materiality concept, and that talks to the significance of a number to influence the outcome.
“So if you check N1.5 billion against N487 billion budget, that translates to about 0.3%, less than half percent of the total figure, and I believe that it is not that significant in determining the outcome. So even if the wrong number was carried down to the total, it wouldn’t have been material.
“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 and hold the government to account.
“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.”