Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has disclosed that he inherited an empty treasury from the administration of Gabriel Suswam.
Ortom made this disclosure on Tuesday in Makurdi while swearing-in the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Head of Service (HOS), Chief of Staff and Special Adviser on Media and Information Communication and Technology.
They are Targuma Takema SSG, Terwase Orbunde, Chief of Staff, Adaikwu Inwata as HOS and Mr Tahav Agerzua, Special Adviser, Media and Information Communication Technology.
He said that he inherited an empty treasurer but was yet to ascertain the debt profile of the state considering the huge salary arrears, allowances, pensions, retirement benefits, bonds as well as other obligations to contractors.
“As I said during my inaugural speech, I will carefully study the handover notes and cross check it with the true situation on ground and inform the public accordingly.
“As we speak, the state treasury is empty, there is nothing in the treasury; I am not witch hunting anybody but the truth must be told.
“Any project, programme or policies of the past administration that are wrong will be reviewed and corrected accordingly,” he said.
He said that his administration had zero tolerance on corruption and urged all political appointees to be ready to provide selfless services to the people.
Ortom said that any government official found wanting would be severely punished in accordance to the rule of law.
“Your appointment is an opportunity to serve, not to amass illegal wealth.
“Anyone who wants to make money can explore opportunities of business in the private sector as any official who misappropriates public funds will be sanctioned.
“Everyone who is part of this government must be ready to be exemplary, must be ready to be an agent of change and must live up to expectation in our chosen agenda to offer high quality service to Benue people.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the newly appointed SSG has served the party in various capacities including its interim chairman.
Orbunde, a former Local Government boss, is reputed to be a thorough bred administrator while Agerzua had served the state before as its chief spokesman under Gov. George Akume.
Source : Leadership