Benue carries a debt burden of over N359billion - Gov Alia - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Sunday, October 1, 2023

Benue carries a debt burden of over N359billion - Gov Alia

Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue state has disclosed that the state is carrying a debt burden of over N359billion, contrary to what he was made to believe when he took over as Governor of the state. 

The Governor who made the disclosure at the Interdenominational Church Service organised to mark the 63rd Independence Anniversary celebration held at the Methodist Church South Bank, Makurdi said the burden which was accumulated by successive governments was too much for the state to carry. 

He however assured of the determination of his administration to fix the state because it was a promise he made to the people. 

The Governor said: "As we speak the debt burden of our state stands at N359billion. If we are repaying that, how long will it take us to do that. But before we came in we knew that the pot was already broken. So we will take action to fix it because that is why our people elected us." 

The Governor said his government had already taken steps to ensure that Benue workers got their salaries on the 25th of every month; "and if pensioners were forgotten in the past, they have now been resurrected." 

He assured that his government was not afraid of taking up challenges to ensure the development of the state stressing that God brought him to power for a reason and he would strive to leave an indelible mark in the development of the state. 

He urged the people of the state to asserted themselves as the richest in the country by fully embracing farming "because that is where the billions of Naira are laying low." 

He lamented that despite being known as a powerhouse in the production of cassava and yam in the country, "it has not taken us anywhere." 

While pointing out the immense wealth the state was sitting on, in the area of agriculture and solid minerals, the Governor appealed to the people to also undertake the cultivation of Palm trees, cashew and coconut trees, "because if you plant them you will never regret it." 

He assured that he was already talking to investors who would come to the state to assist the people exploit the immense benefits that would accrue to them from their farms. 

On the huge solid mineral deposits in the state, the Governor who decried the activities of illegal miners in parts of the state, noted that though the state was sitting on the huge wealth it was yet to fully exploit it assuring that his government would take steps to exploit the sector. 

"So all the illegal mining in the state must stop forthwith. Any truck coming into the state for that purpose must be with the approval of the Federal and state governments," he said. 

He also appealed to clergy and traditional rulers to take the lead in ensuring an end to all forms of criminality in the state including banditry and kidnappings as well as the disruption of farming activities in the state assuring that he had already set in motion the machinery to return all Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the state to their ancestral homes. 

"We must lead in ensuring our own security in our communities before we invite security people to intervene, that is why whenever we see something we must say something," he said

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