Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom says President Muhammadu Buhari would extend bailout to states to enable them offset backlog of salaries and liabilities crippling their economic activities across the country.
Speaking, yesterday, in Makurdi, the state capital, during separate meetings with students and other union leaders from the Benue State University (BSU), Ortom revealed that his predecessor, Gabriel Suswam left behind a debt burden of over N90 billion for his administration, contrary to the N9.2 billion debt he claimed he left.
According to Ortom, “the list of the debt (left behind by Suswam) include N50 billion incurred from ongoing contracts, N18 billion on certificated contracts, N12 billion on salary arrears and about N10 billion for bonds and bank facilities and loans.”
While the state waits for the lifeline from the FG, Ortom said Benue had concluded arrangements to borrow funds to pay one month of the backlog of salary arrears across board and to also ensure the take off of both the executive and legislative arms of government.
He said the decision was prompted by the need to demonstrate to the state work force that he was determined to address their problems and to persuade striking tertiary institution workers to call off their four-month-old strike.
Benue is among the cash-strapped states in the country. Others include Osun, Enugu, Kaduna, Plateau and Imo. Most of the states or their local governments are said to be owing between four to seven months salaries of workers amounting to several billions of Naira.
National Broadcast: PDP Slams Buhari Over ‘Disappointing, Empty’ Speech – PDP
Recall that Buhari in his speech called for an end to the protest, adding that his government had already accepted and started implementing demands of the protesters.
He, however, failed to acknowledge the shooting of protesters by soldiers of the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday night.
Reacting in a statement on Thursday night by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbodinyan, the PDP said Buhari’s address was depressing and failed empathy test.
The party appealed to Nigerians, particularly the youth, to remain calm and allow a return to normal life in the collective quest for peaceful co-existence in the overall interest of the nation.
PDP Asks Buhari To Stop Killing Of #EndSARS Protesters Across Nigeria
This was contained in a statement titled “EndSARS- Lekki Massacre,” signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, late on Tuesday.
Ologbodiyan said, “The Peoples Democratic Party, condemns in very strong terms, the killing of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos as well as other parts of our country.
“It is shocking that security agents and, in some cases, thugs, were reportedly deployed to end the lives of promising Nigerians. This, to say the least, is saddening.
“Those responsible for the heinous murder of the innocent and harmless Nigerians must account for their nefarious acts.
“The PDP calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct an end to these wanton killings across our nation.
#EndSARS: Gov Bello Warns Protesters Against Overthrowing Buhari
He stated this during an interview with Africa Independent Television AIT on Monday night.
Bello called on his fellow state governors to tack charge in their respective states so as to prevent loss of lives and properties due to attacks by hoodlums.
He, however, warned Nigerian youths to resist the temptation of using the current situation in the country to seek an undemocratic change in leadership.
The Governor warned that those interested in the presidency must wait till 2023 and go through democratic processes.
He urged the protesting youths to leave the streets and embrace dialogue.
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