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Ortom confirms receipt of N14.9bn Paris Club refunds

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue has confirmed the receipt of N14.9 billion, being the last tranche of the Paris Club refunds from the federal government to Benue state.

Terver Akase, the governor’s chief press secretary, stated this in a statement on Thursday in Makurdi.

Akase said that 80 per cent of the funds would be committed to payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities.

According to him, Ortom has set up a committee, headed by deputy Governor Benson Abounu to work out modalities for immediate disbursement of the funds.

He said the other members of the committee were; the head of service, commissioner for finance, adviser on local government and chieftaincy affairs and the adviser on labour matters.

Others are chairmen of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and Nigerian Union of Pensioners Benue State chapters.

He explained that the decision to involve others in the disbursement of the funds was to ensure transparency and accountability.

He explained that Ortom had also made public the other refunds from the club that were received by the state.

“It will be recalled that the Governor similarly made public the receipt and disbursement of the N12.7 billion first tranche and N6.4 billion second tranche of the Paris Club refunds respectively,” he said.

Workers in the state are being owed between six and 12 months salaries.

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