The opposition All Progressives Congress in Benue State on Wednesday called on the Debt Management Office and other relevant agencies to henceforth check loans being obtained by the State Governor, Samuel Ortom.
Chairman of Benue APC LikeMinds, Kula Terso who made the call in Makurdi said that the call was necessary following the approval given by the State Assembly to Governor Samuel Ortom to take a new N12b loan
According to Terso, the present administration had consistently taken loans to the tune of N69 billion with nothing on ground to show for the loan.
Terso expressed serious concern about the debt profile of the state and pointed out that already, the state was indebted to the tune of N96.4b local debt, according to the debt profile released by Debt Management Office.
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He explained that despite the N69 billion loan procured by Ortom administration in the past four years, “There is nothing on ground to show for it.
“Meanwhile federal allocation has significantly improved leading to bumper harvest by the state at the monthly FAAC.
“Yet, the governor takes another N12billion naira loan for ‘projects’? Terso added
The party man noted that in spite of the loans taken by the Ortom administration, the government, he added was still owing pension and gratuity amounting to N66billion, State and Local Government salary arrears to the tune of N50 billion
The chairman said that with the manner the present administration obtains loan, the future of Benue children was being mortgaged.
“And our fear is what is going to happen to Benue children.
“This is the reason we are calling on the Security and Exchange Commission, Debt Management Office and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to intervene and save the future of Benue people from being mortgaged.
“Let all the agencies step in so as to stop the new N12 billion loan or else we are doomed,” Terso lamented.
Reacting, the state publicity secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, Bemgba Ioryyom asked the leader of the APC group to direct his complaint to the State Assembly.
Ioryyom said, “The situation is clear. The criticism should not go to the governor because the State Assembly approved the loan. And the Assembly comprises of representatives of all Benue people, so it is the people who have approved the loan for Ortom.
“The loan is being obtained to facilitate people-oriented projects and not for the personal use of the governor.