Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that the bailout funds meant for the payment of outstanding salaries for state and local government workers will be ready in two weeks.
The Governor made this disclosure will addressing the media today at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi.
He said the state had met the requirements for securing the funds and has already sent documents to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to that effect.
“For Benue state, salary areas for local government was N15.5bn, state government was N12.5bn, totalling N28bn.”
“The conditions for accessing this loan was a resolution from the state executive council and a resolution from the House of Assembly. We have fulfilled these conditions and we have submitted those documents to Central Bank. We hope that in the next two weeks, we should access these funds.”
He added that the loan was secured at 9% interest rate payable for a tenure of 20 years and when accessed, will be judiciously used to clear the backlog of salaries owed workers in the state.
The Governor lamented the huge wage bill he inherited from the past administration, however, he said the government had secured the services of experts in the biometric verification of government staff.
Governor Ortom also cleared the air concerning the new vehicles given to Local Government Caretaker Chairmen.
He said the vehicles were procured according to laid down due process and will remain government property even after the expiration of the tenure of the chairmen.
“If they stay for six months as their tenure is, there’s no way they’ll go with the cars except they are ready to pay for the cost of the car”
“At the end of their six months, the vehicles remain local government vehicles. The other people that are coming in, whether caretaker or elected will inherit those vehicles”. He explained.
The governor also clarified the issue of the renovation of the Governor’s Lodge which he said included an access road, fence, gates, the Governor’s residence, Presidential lodge, other guest houses therein and the new banquet hall which costs about N78.5m. He added that he would move in when the ongoing renovation was completed.
The Governor urged the people of the state to be patient as his government was committed to truthfulness, fairness, equity, justice, transparency, accountability, discipline, integrity, love, reconciliation and forgiveness.