Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, has disclosed that his administration inherited a debt burden of N307 billion from his predecessor, Simon Lalong.
Mutfwang said this on Monday after receiving the reports of the committees on the transition and strategic development framework for the state.
The two committees that examined the issues were led by a professor, Ganyir Lombin.
Mutfwang, however, expressed his determination to lead the state to greater developments in the face of its huge debt profile, as well as readiness to tackle the security challenges in the state.
“Throughout the campaign season, we were under the mistaken belief that our debt burden was around N200 billion; to hear that it is N307 billion is quite intimidating and worrisome,” Mutfwang said.
“But, by the special grace of God, these challenges we are confronted with are surmountable. Of particular concern is the issue of insecurity which, unfortunately, has become a major distraction for us.
“But we are confident that with the new security chiefs on the ground and the special adviser on security assuming responsibility, we will see a difference not too long from now.”
The governor, after receiving the report, promised to diligently examine the document presented to him, adding that further investigation will be launched and appropriate action will be taken.
Earlier, Lombin explained that some operational challenges restricted the two committees, which had appointees of the past administration as members, from jointly presenting their report.
He said the handover notes presented to the governor on May 29 were not in tandem with the agreed template developed by the joint committee.
He said the revenue, which accrued to the state government from May 2015 to May 2023, stood at N872 billion.
He added that the report only gave the total expenditure from May 2015 to December 2022 and excluded that of January to May, 2023.
“There is no clear figure for the state’s monthly wage bill, however, this administration has inherited a backlog of four months unpaid salaries to public servants amounting to over N11 billion,” Lombim said.
“Outstanding gratuity and pension arrears of N24 billion was also inherited. The legacy projects are marred in controversies and unresolved legal cases which have stalled their completion.
“Currently, the sum of N12 billion for these projects is still in the custody of the trustees of the funds.”
The chairman called for more investigations on the 3,692 government’s assets and properties allegedly sold and auctioned within and outside the state.