Secretary to Benue State Government, SSG, Mr. Targema Takema, has revealed that over N48billion of local government funds went to private accounts during the eight-year administration of the immediate past governor, Mr. Gabriel Suswam.
The Suswam administration also allegedly left a N130billion and not N90billion debt as earlier made public by the incumbent Governor, Samuel Ortom.
Takema stated this yesterday at a reception organised in his honour by the Mbaiwoo Development Association in Buruku Local Government Area of the state.
He added that the 29,000 local government workforce paraded by the past administration was a far cry from the actual number of 14,000 employees in the 23 councils of the state.
According to him, the above scenario gulped between N600 and N700million of the councils’ funds monthly, which he asserted, went to wrong hands in the name of payment of local government workers.
Takema said as a member of the transition committee, he was privy to the fact that the indebtedness of the state as established by the panel, stands at N130billion as against the N90billion earlier mentioned, adding that arrangements have been concluded to ensure that all those who stole from the pubic treasury are made to return same after the committee briefs the people of the state next week.
The SSG praised Governor Ortom, who he described as a leader filled with the fear of God and encouraged others to emulate him by living by example such as using public funds to ameliorate the pains and anguish of the people.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that the out-gone Special Adviser to Suswam on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Solomon Wombo, had disclosed that there were over 14,000 illegal workers at the third tier, which generated tension in the state as chairman of the Local Government Service Commission, Richard Gbande, refuted it.

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