Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has handed over a debt profile of N187.7 billion to the incoming administration of Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia.
Ortom at a brief ceremony held at the old banquet hall of Government House in Makurdi, told Alia that the handover notes in three volumes were summary of his eight years administration.
The governor explained that the total income of the state during his eight years sojourn amounted to N734.9billion as at April 2023 while the total debt incurred by the state within the period stood at N187.7billion inclusive of unpaid salary, pension arrears, loans and bonds among others.
He also intimated the incoming administration of a debt swap/reduction arrangement between the state and the Federal Government to the tune of N97.716billion.
Ortom explained that with an expected inflow of N48billion, after discount, the negotiated debt swap would be reduced to N45.2billion, thereby bringing down the state’s total debt profile.
He further disclosed that his administration already secured an approval of N41billion loan and a N20billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) facility, urging the Alia’s administration to press for the release of the money when sworn in.
The governor also said that his administration had raised N8billion under the contributory pension scheme since domestication of the pension law in the state, adding that the money will soon reach a threshold to clear all backlogs of pension owed retirees.
Ortom who congratulated the incoming governor advised him to soon after swearing in summon permanent secretaries of various ministries to provide him with needed briefs.
Responding, the governor-elect, Alia thanked Ortom for his service to fatherland.