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Benue Assembly approves N12b loan for Ortom


Dr Samuel Ortom

Dr Samuel Ortom

BENUE State House of Assembly has granted approval to Governor Samuel Ortom to borrow N12billion to harness developmental and infrastructure projects and to finance agricultural value chain.

Ortom had in a letter titled: “Request for a resolution to obtain a loan for Developmental and Infrastructure Projects,” quoted the Federal Government as directing the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to make available loanable funds to the state governments to be used for developmental and infrastructure projects, saying the offer is opened to any interested government to borrow N10billion.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai has urged men of the Nigerian Army to continue to be professional in their conduct, duties and must be responsive in handling internal security operations.

Buratai gave the charge at the 72 Special Forces Barracks while addressing officers and men of the Army Special Forces and Nigeria Army School of Military Engineering, NASME, Makurdi.
He said the mandate given to the army to curb Boko Haram insurgents must be accomplished as scheduled and urged the forces to be ready once and for all.

General Buratai, who restated that discipline of army personnel is very germane wherever they found themselves and frowned at the recent incident in Makurdi where some army personnel ransacked and harassed the civilian population; warning that those found involved will be punished.

“This is the last time I will hear of such level of indiscipline here and other places. The army must be professional at all times and responsive in the discharge of their duties.”

Also was N2 billion meant to finance Agricultural Value Chain, including dry season farming under the CBN Special Intervention Funds, and is payable in twenty years at 9% interest rate.
He explained that the infrastructural gap in the state is so huge and cannot be effectively tackled with the meager monthly revenue from the federation account and internally generated revenue.

According to Governor Ortom, “his administration is committed to providing basic infrastructure especially in the areas of roads, electricity and portable water.”

He expressed optimism that when accessed, the benefits from the development and projects that would be provided will go a long way in uplifting the living standards of the people of the state.
The Guardian recalls that with this approval, the present administration has procured N55.5billion loan in the last six months since it came to power.

The first one was N10billion loan from commercial banks used for payment of May and June salaries as well as take off of the administration, the second was N5.5billion loan from commercial banks to pay counterpart funding for development partners as well as the N28billion bailout funds used to pay backlog of salaries arrears to workers.

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