The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has disclosed that he would soon convene a youth summit to get their inputs into the youth empowerment program of his administration.
He made the disclosure at the swearing in ceremony of key officials of his administration at the Banquet Hall of the Benue Peoples House.
The governor explained that he came late to the occasion because hundreds of protesting youths blocked the road through which he had to pass following a misunderstanding a commercial motorcyclist had with the police the previous day.
Ortom said he had to stop and address them before they dispersed pointing out that it has become necessary to convene the summit to address youth restiveness before it got out of hand.
He disclosed that he inherited an empty treasury on assumption of office
The Secretary to the State Government, Head of Service, Chief of Staff and Special Adviser on Media and Information Communication and Technology were sworn in at the occasion.
They were Barrister Targema Takema SSG, Mr Terwase Orbunde, Chief of Staff, Mr Adaikwu Inwata, HOS, and Mr Tahav Agerzua, Special Adviser, Media and ICT.
He said he was yet to ascertain huge debts arising from salary arrears and allowances, retirement benefits, bonds as well as 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,” he stressed.
“Any project, program or policy of the past administration that is wrong would be reviewed and corrected accordingly”.
He said that his administration would have zero tolerance for 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 with 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 newly appointed SSG served in the diplomatic and the party in various capacities including its interim chairman in Benue State.
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 Governor George Akume while the Head of Service was a permanent secretary.
Responding on behalf of the appointees, Barrister Takema Secretary pledged on behalf of all the officials to be loyal and honest in the discharge of their duties.
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