Ortom dismisses Tarzoor’s allegations as mischievous
Worried by the salvo of allegations against him, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, has dismissed as mischievous, baseless and partisan, media reports credited to the defeated Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) governorship candidate in last year’s general elections in the state, Terhemen Tarzoor, that his government has mortgaged the future of the state by obtaining loans.
Ortom in a statement signed by his Adviser on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua said if Tarzoor’s comments were patriotic, he should have offered suggestions on what he would have done differently if he were the governor.
It indicted the ex-governor for operating under deficits of inherited huge salary arrears and other financial burdens.
The statement said Ortom at his inauguration last year, inherited the morale of a public service that was at its lowest ebb, as a result of five months of unpaid salaries. It added that the state of affairs necessitated the administration to obtain a N10 billion facility to pay May and June salaries, as well as meeting other critical obligations needed to take off governance.
Agerzua said, “The money was also used for payment for accreditation requirements of the College of Health Sciences at the Benue State University, where the pioneer students had spent 12 years for a six-year course, because the previous administration did not care about their plight.”
According to the statement, the records uncovered by the Elizabeth Kpojime Commission of Inquiry, showed that there were more than enough funds available for the previous regime to have cleared the arrears, if it were its priority.
But the government choose to leave the office without paying the arrears, a development which made it imperative for the state government to utilize the window offered it by the Federal Government through the Central Banks of Nigeria, to borrow N28 billion as bailout for the payment of the salary arrears at the state and local government levels.
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