Gov Alia claims Ortom left behind N359bn debt in Benue

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The Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, said on Sunday his administration inherited N359 billion debt from the immediate past administration in the state.

Alia disclosed this at an interdenominational church service to mark Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary in Benue.

The governor, however, said he was determined to reposition the state by providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive despite the debt burden.

Alia and his predecessor, Samuel Ortom, had clashed in the past over the state of Benue’s finances.

He also accused Ortom of taking away some of the government properties, including vehicles, when he left office on May 29.

The governor said: “God has accomplished his work, and it is now left for us to make our state and nation work. I am here to make things work.

“What we inherited was nothing to be proud of but we will do what will make us all proud. I inherited over N359bn debt.”

READ ALSO: PDP rejects Benue tribunal’s verdict, heads to appeal court

He lamented that the state lost billions of Naira worth of agricultural produce and other property to herdsmen attacks on farmers.

He stressed that farmers must be supported to do their jobs well.

The governor assured the people of the state that his administration would find ways to support farmers by providing seedlings, fertilisers, and other forms of support to enable them to work effectively in the coming farming season.

“My colleagues call me the governor of the richest state in Nigeria and I agree with them because we have numerous mineral deposits, we have the best yams and soybeans, among others.

“We will create billionaires in the state through our farms. We have everything it takes to do it,” Alia added.

He also ordered an immediate end to illegal mining in the state.

“The foreigners illegally mining gold in Kwande, Logo, Konshisha LGAs and other places in the state should desist from it immediately. This is an order,” he stated.

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