Former Managing Director of Diamond Bank, Dr. Alex Otti, has, in what can be described as laying the truth bare, cleared the air of doubts in the minds of cynics who believe that the N75 billion savings the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, left for the state was a hoax.
Dr. Otti, in a piece on Nigeria’s leadership challenge, praised Obi for his financial prudence, which enabled him to save up N75 billion in both local and foreign currencies for Anambra State as a governor before leaving office.
According to him, the dollar component of the savings is now worth over N95 billion.
Otti, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Abia State in the last two elections in the country, explained that it was through a high level of managerial ability that Obi, the Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 elections, was able to achieve a great financial feat “in a state that was reputed to have been owing civil servants and pensioners” by clearing off all debts inherited from his predecessor and still left behind a fortune for his successor.
Confirming the N75 billion savings, Otti, who was the Chairman of Diamond Bank, one of the banks where the money was domiciled, stated again, as he had done many times before, that Obi left a whopping N75 billion for the future generation of the state.
Speaking on the Dollar component of the savings, he said: “Like yours truly had done in the past, one can attest to the fact that some $155 million was invested in the tier two capital of three Nigerian banks with maturities of about five years at interest rates of up to 9% per annum to the credit of the State. As at the time the investments were made, the Naira equivalent of the funds was about N25 billion. If those funds were rolled over at maturity in 2019, they would be worth about N62 billion today. If interest is assumed to remain at 9 per cent for the past six years, an additional N33.5 billion would have accrued to bring the present value of the investments to over N95 billion. This is one of the advantages of prudence and financial literacy.”
Otti, who said Obi successfully cut off profligacies in governance, described Obi as “one of the few leaders of the country that has his head properly screwed on his neck”, noting that “in truth he is a true example of excellent leadership and accountability in today’s world where such attributes are in very short supply.”
Otti opined that it was the financial imprudence and lack of savings culture experienced at different levels of government that has almost crippled the nation after few months of lockdown.
He therefore urged political leaders and public office holders to borrow a leaf from Obi’s prudence, financial responsibility and savings culture in their public and private lives.
It will be recalled that Obi earlier this year won the award of “Thisday Governor of the Decade” for his many achievements while in office as governor.