Sunday, 1 November 2015

Ortom is Manipulating Benue’s Debt Profile - Suswam

Former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, on Thursday came hard on the state Governor, Samuel Ortom-led administration, accusing it of excessive borrowing and manipulation of the state’s unpaid salaries and other debt profiles for personal gains.

In a statement issued personally by the former governor in Makurdi, the state capital, on Thursday, Suswam insisted that his administration left behind an unpaid salary debt profile of N12.7 billion as against the N28 billion the government accessed through the federal government bailout funds.

The former governor explained further that his administration also left behind a N9.7billion debt being the balance of the N17billion his government borrowed from commercial bank as loans and bonds as against the N190billion being claimed by the present administration.

Suswam said: “On the debt profile of the state, I still maintain that I left only a debt profile of N9.7billion. This was basically the balance from the N17billion I borrowed as commercial bank loans and bonds.

“But in computing what the Ortom administration funnily terms the debt profile of my administration, some contractual obligations we entered into without any commitment with contractors amounting to over N50billion were added as debts.

“Salaries of workers, which were only delayed but not denied for obvious reasons, this government too is currently grappling with, were equally added up to make it bogus by all means.”

He added that: “Though the same government had earlier made it public that the entire amount needed to upset the four months arrears was N12.7 billion, this was astronomically increased to N28 billion without explanation.

“The entire world heard how Ortom’s government kept dishing out figures, from N90 billion, N130 billion, and again N190 billion as the debt profile left by my administration. What a pitiable inconsistency! And how else would one explain such a travesty?”

Suswam argued that the pace at which the present administration was accessing unbridled debts, he would in the near future mortgage the state and its future generation.

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