John Shiaondo, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State yesterday ordered the cancellation of all last minute recruitments into the state civil service made by his predecessor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam. Ortom who gave the directive in office during meetings with heads of government agencies and parastatals said the decision became necessary considering the perilous financial condition of the state. “The reversals became necessary in the view of the uncleared back log of salaries and allowances as well as retirement benefits in the state coupled with the empty treasury I met on assumption of office,” he noted.
Governor Ortom reminded the beneficiaries that he had while awaiting his swearing-in warned them against taking the appointments. He directed the chairman of the state Civil Service Commission, Mrs. Comfort Agogo, to furnish him with the details of the employment status of former staff redeployed from the Benue State Internal Revenue Service to various Ministries.
While lamenting the huge debt burden of the state which he had met on assumption of office, Ortom sued for patience, support and cooperation of Benue people to enable him address the challenges confronting the state. Also addressing the Governing Council of the Benue State University, the governor announced the cancellation of the report of the visitation panel to the University saying an accurate assessment of work done for five years could not be made in one week.
He promised that government would source the funds needed for accreditation of the College of Health Sciences and Teaching Hospital next September even if it needed borrowing. “I will dialogue with the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, with a view to addressing all contentious issues and I am assuring parents and students that I would do all within my power for the school to reopen,” he noted.