The State House of Assembly yesterday authorised the state Governor, Samuel Ortom to access a loan of N28.012 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Bailout to clear the backlog of salaries owed civil servants in the state.
Governor Samuel had addressed a letter to House of Assembly for the approval, which is part of the requirement to access the bailout for payment of the outstanding salary of workers.
According to the letter, which was read on the floor of the Assembly, Governor Ortom said out of the sum to be collected N12.503 billion is to be used to settle the salaries of state civil servants, while the sum of N15.509 billion will be for Local Government salaries.
The letter read in part, “I wish to inform the Hon. Speaker of the Federal Government’s intention to provide funds as bailout through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at low interest to states. This is to enable states attend to staff salary arrears at state and local government councils”.
“In view of the above, the Benue state House of Assembly is requested to kindly consider and grant approval for the State Government to access the loan to the tune of Twenty Eight Billion and Twelve Million Naira only as bailout from the CBN at 9% interest rate for 20 years.
Ruling after an intensed debate on the letter, the Speaker, Mr. Terkimbi Ikyange, also disclosed that the Assembly will carry a detailed audit of staff at the state and local government level to not only ascertain the actual wage bill of the state, but to also enable the House to advise the government on employment.
Mr. Ikyange further directedthat the statement of income and expenditure of government from June to August be forwarded to the House, including the amount generated from the same period as revenue, to enable the House to ascertain the financial status of the state.
The Assembly also urged the executive arm of government to immediately forward a Supplementary Appropriation bill covering the authorised amount for approval.
– John Shiaondo, Makurdi