Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has cried out over the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to withdraw the Paris Club refund from the state’s account.
The Governor, however, urged the people of the state to remain calm, following the decision of the Federal Government to withdraw the final tranche of Paris club refund initially sent to the state.
Ortom expressed shock at the decision and expressed the hope that the decision will be reversed in the interest of workers and retirees of the state.
A Statement made available by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, Ortom noted that plans had been concluded to start paying up workers salaries and pensions with the fund before the withdrawal.
The statement added, “Following the Governor’s directive to the state Ministry of Finance, payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities was set to commence today, only for the people to wake up with the demoralizing news of Federal Government’s recall of the funds from the state’s accounts.
“We hope this latest move is not part of the ongoing witch-hunt of the state. Benue people have already suffered enough impunity and attacks.
“We also hope that the withdrawal order was made in error, because the said funds are not grants from the Federal Government.
“This was a refund of funds the Federal Government has been owing Benue over the years, so they shouldn’t make it look as though they had given the state a loan or a grant.”
Governor Ortom assured the people that the Nigerian Governor’s Forum, NGF, will meet today and take an official position on the matter.
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