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Unpaid salaries: Ortom debunks new loan allegation

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Unpaid salaries: Ortom debunks new loan allegation

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom yesterday brushed aside the widespread allegation that he has written to the state House of Assembly seeking its approval to enable him access a N10 billion loan to enable him offset the accumulated backlog of unpaid salaries of workers, pensions and gratuities.

 

The governor said the allegation was the handiwork of the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and maintained that his administration has not made such a move and does not intend to take a N10 billion loan as portrayed by the APC.

 

The allegation came barely two weeks after the governor confirmed receipt of N14.9 billion being the last tranche of the Paris Club Refunds from the Federal Government for payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities out of which 80 percent was to be utilised for the purpose before government stepped in and recalled the money.

 

Sunday Telegraph learnt that the governor was reported to have in a letter purportedly written to the legislators last Friday by the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Tony Ijoho (SAN) and addressed to the Speaker of the House, Hon. Titus Uba, asked the lawmakers “to consider the degrading conditions of pensioners and workers who have served the state in different capacities and deserve their wages” and give a nod to the request.

 

But Governor Ortom, in a swift reaction by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, said the allegation smacks of frustration and fury within the APC camp to drag his name and office to disrepute having failed in all their previous attempts to remove him through illegality and impunity.

 

He said: “For a party which still controls power at the centre, the APC appears not to understand the job of a governing party and has assumed the role of opposition.

 

“The party’s latest false claim that the state government plans to obtain the alleged loan is the height of desperation by a political party bent on misleading the public.”

 

He assured people of the state that government has met all requirements set by Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the recently recalled Paris Club refund will soon be returned to the state for payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities.

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