Home Entertainment Publicly Prove That A Debt Of N359 Billion Was Handed To You – Ortom’s Aide Carpets Alia
Entertainment - News - October 17, 2023

Publicly Prove That A Debt Of N359 Billion Was Handed To You – Ortom’s Aide Carpets Alia

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Terver Akase, media aide to former governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has asked the incumbent, Hyacinth Alia, to show proof that his predecessor left N359 billion debt.

Naija News recalls that Alia had earlier claimed that his administration met a debt of N359 billion accrued through non-payment of staff salaries, pensions, gratuities and domestic liabilities from his predecessor when his administration took over power.

The governor, who stated this after meeting with President Bola Tinubu, said his administration would ensure that the debts are gradually paid off.

However, Akase, in a statement on Tuesday, claimed that there was no truth to Alia’s claim.

He urged the governor to publicly prove his claim, describing it as false and “a deliberate stratagem to snooker the people”.

Akase stated that Ortom’s administration had N187.56 billion debt prior to its exit on May 29 2023.

Parts of the statement read, “The present government of Benue State is selling a narrative to unsuspecting people of the state that they inherited N359 billion as debt from the previous government led by Chief Ortom. This narrative is not only false but is also a deliberate stratagem to snooker the people.

“Curiously, this same government told the people via a statement by Governor Alia’s Chief Press Secretary in June this year that Governor Ortom handed N187.56 billion to them as debt, which was the same amount the former Governor mentioned while presenting handover notes to his successor. What the present government is saying about the state debts now contradicts their previous statement.

“Governor Ortom was explicit in his handover speech that though the debt situation of the State Government at the time of his exit from office might appear to be on the high side (N187.56 billion), his administration had taken proactive steps to negotiate and ensure significant debt reduction/reliefs leading to Debt Swap Between Benue State and Federal Government as facilitated by the Nigerian Governors Forum. Total Debt Swap for State and Local Government Councils stood at N71.6billion.

“The inflows Benue State was expecting at the time Governor Ortom was leaving office were: (a) Backlog of accumulated Stamp Duties – N48 billion, (b) Refund from Debt Swap with Federal Government – N22.95 billion. Total = N70.95 billion.

“When the negotiated debt swap and the expected inflows are discounted, the State was set to attain a significant debt reduction, bringing down its debt profile to N45.2 billion.

“If the Alia administration wants the people to believe their tale, they should publicly prove that his predecessor Chief Ortom, handed over N359 debt to them.

“What baffles me is that the Alia administration has not disclosed to Benue people how much it has received from Abuja as federal allocations and what they have raised as internal revenue since they came on board. They are also mute on the monthly state wage bill.”

The post Publicly Prove That A Debt Of N359 Billion Was Handed To You – Ortom’s Aide Carpets Alia appeared first on Naija News.

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