Okorocha chases N6.4b borrowed by Ohakim

The Imo State governor says his predecessor did not get approval before approaching the banks
Article | December 4, 2012 – 10:17am | By Chidi Okoye

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has said that his administration was taking steps to recover the N6.4 billion that his predecessor, Ikedi Ohakim, allegedly borrowed from the banks few days before he left office.
Okorocha, who dropped the hint on Monday in Owerri during his 2013 budget presentation at the state assembly, added that the ex-governor took the bank loan without the approval of the state’s legislature.
He said that his administration was determined to ensure accountability and would not conceal any fraud committed by the past administration.
The governor, who said he was “under pressure to probe his predecessor”, however, did not say if he would succumb to the pressure.
He disclosed that his administration had saved N5.7 billion from re-negotiation of over-valued contracts awarded by Ohakim’s administration.
On assumption of office in 2011, Okorocha told the people that Ohakim’s administration awarded N3.2 billion contract for the construction of the Ahajioku Convention Centre, Owerri.
The governor said that Ohakim’s administration had already paid two billion naira for the uncompleted building, which according to him, can be built with N800 million.
Okorocha also announced that his administration had awarded contracts worth N45 billion for the construction of over 1,000 km roads across the state, adding that N19 billion had already been paid to the contractor handling the project.
He said that every contractor in the state had received at least 30 per cent of the contract sum for each project under construction.
Okorocha’s clarification on the payment of contractors was sequel to speculations in some quarters in the state that he had not been paying contractors.