Friday, September 29, 2023


Ortom did nothing wrong leaving with official vehicles, aide replies Hyacinth

Ortom did nothing wrong leaving with official vehicles, aide replies Hyacinth
June 09
15:09 2023

Terver Akase, spokesperson to Samuel Ortom, former governor of Benue, says his principal did nothing wrong leaving the government house with official vehicles.

Hyacinth Alia, Benue governor, had accused Ortom’s administration of looting, alleging that he “met no single car or truck in government house”.

Reacting in a statement, Akase said it was the decision of the state executive council to allow Ortom, his deputy and other officials to go with the vehicles allocated to them.

“In his latest outing, the governor has accused his predecessor of carrying out recruitment into the civil service without due process; handing to him an empty treasury and looting government vehicles, among several other unfounded accusations,” Akase said.


“The present administration may wish to be informed that it was the decision of the Benue state executive council that government officials, including the governor and his deputy, be given waivers to enable them to go with the official vehicles allocated to them.

“Governor Ortom, therefore, did nothing unlawful by leaving office with the official vehicles allocated to him.

“It is a tradition that an outgoing governor leaves with vehicles given to him. Perhaps we should add that the Ortom administration offered to buy vehicles for the incoming government but the present governor declined, saying that he would prefer to buy vehicles for his administration after the inauguration.”


On the issue of sacked appointees and workers, Akase said Ortom’s administration followed due process in recruiting the workers.

“While we won’t go into a war of words with the governor despite the media trial, it is pertinent to clarify that the Ortom administration followed due process in recruiting the workers whom the present government sacked a few days ago,” he said.

“Vacancies were duly advertised in national newspapers and those who applied for the jobs were properly interviewed/screened and the successful ones were given appointment letters as required by civil service rules.

“Promotions were also carried out according to the laid down service regulations.


“We expected the Alia administration to specifically point out the areas where it claimed that due process was not followed in the recruitments, instead of making sweeping statements and spurious generalisations.”


Speaking on finances, Akase said Ortom’s administration made efforts to reduce the indebtedness of the state.

“Governor Ortom was explicit in his handover speech on May 28, 2023, 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,” he said.


“Total debt swap for state and local government councils stood at N71.6 billion.

“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 the federal government – N22.95 billion. Total = N70.95 billion.


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

“It should also be noted that owing to the efforts of the Ortom administration, Benue state as of May 29, 2023, had outstanding approvals awaiting disbursement from the federal government including the balance of bailout – N41 billion and a N20 billion Central Bank of Nigeria facility.”


Akase said Ortom is available to respond to the Benue governor any time he needs clarification on issues regarding the previous administration.



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