Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has defended the N10 billion borrowed by the state government in a recent interview.
Ortom gave the explanation on Saturday, July 25, 2015 saying the loan was used to pay workers salaries, kick off the executive and legislative arm of the state government.
In his words, ‘I said it was going to be used to pay two months salaries. On the average, we expend N3.7 billion on the payment of monthly salaries. The breakdown is as follows: wage bill is about N2.8 billion while the overhead per month across board runs to about N700million.’
Continuing, Ortom said, ‘So if you take that for two months you will be spending about N7.4 billion or close to N7.5 billion on salaries alone thereby leaving a balance of about N2.5 billion
out of the N10billion we borrowed.
‘Part of what I applied for the loan was to enable the executive and the house of assembly to take off. We needed to buy cars for 13 commissioners, 18 advisers, and assembly members including payment of allowances,’ Ortom explained.
In furtherance, the governor disclosed that no kobo has been misappropriated as speculated by opposition party as more than N3 billion had already been spent on the take off of the government including the legislature.