Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has disclosed that preliminary investigation has revealed a debt burden of N90 billion.
He made the disclosure today during separate meetings with students and other union leaders from the Benue State University at the old Banquet Hall of Benue Peoples House.
Governor Ortom listed the debts as N50 billion for ongoing contracts, N18 billion for certified ones, N12 billion for salary arrears and about ten billion for bonds and bank loans.
According to Ortom, the Benue State government has concluded arrangements to borrow funds to pay one month’s salary across the board and also ensure the take off of both the executive and legislative arms of government.
He said the development was necessitated by the need to demonstrate to the state work force that he was seriously concerned about their plight and to persuade striking state university teachers to call off their strike.
Governor Ortom said he had received offers from some banks and would soon approach the State House of Assembly for approval to obtain a loan.
According to him all his efforts to persuade the Academic Staff Union of Universities at the University to call off their strike had failed and that they had insisted that he must pay at least on month’s salary.
He said he would also attend to urgent issues of accreditation at the University with the loan and appealed for understanding and support.
Governor Ortom appealed to all unions at the institution to call of their strikes and give him the opportunity to tackle their challenges.
The Governor urged that the plight of students and their parents as well as that of the patients should be considered.
President of the student union government, Comrade Bobby Tavershima, lamented that students of the university had been at home for four months but assured that they would not do anything to jeopardize the administration.
Representative of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Comrade Obande Obande appealed to the Governor to clear arrears of bursary owed students.
Professor Julius Ashiko who led the delegation of unions regretted that medical students had spent 13 years instead of six and expressed the hope that the unions would consider the appeal while the Governor makes efforts to tackle the challenges.
Union leaders pledges to relay the appeal to their members and get back to the Governor.
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