Benue: Alia inaugurates two committees to probe Ortom’s govt

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The Governor of Benue State, Hyacinth Alia on Monday inaugurated two separate Judicial Commissions of Inquiries, with a charge on them to scrutinise the management of the state’s resources and assets under the previous administration.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Tersoo Kula disclosed this in a Tuesday statement.

The two Commission of Inquiries inaugurated are the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Income and Expenditure of Benue State Government (from May 29, 2015, to May 28, 2023), and the Judicial Commission of inquiry into the Sale/lease of government assets, Companies and Markets (both State and Local Government owned markets), as well as Moribund Companies (from or before May 28, 2015, to May 28th, 2023).

Performing the ceremony at the Old Banquet Hall of the Benue State Government House, Makurdi, Alia explained that the setting up of the two commissions of inquiries to probe the activities of the outgone administration has become necessary and is in response to the desire of the people of the state, who are the major stakeholders and owners of the resources.

“These commissions are not merely bureaucratic endeavours; they are our response to the earnest desires and hopes of the good people of Benue, who are rightfully critical stakeholders and owners of our dear state and its resources,” the governor explained.

According to Alia, the future of Benue as a state, depends largely on the prudent management of its resources, and as such, his administration will ensure that all monies expended serve the collective purpose, which is to take the state to greater heights.

“The future prosperity of Benue hinges on the prudent and judicious management of our resources. As we usher in a new era characterised by prioritising the welfare of our people, it is imperative and quite incumbent upon us to ensure that every Naira expended serves the collective interest and propels the growth and development of our state.

“The responsible stewardship of government resources bears a direct correlation to the well-being of our people. Adequate allocation to vital sectors such as the economy, agriculture, education, security, healthcare, and infrastructure uplifts the standard of living, while any mismanagement jeopardizes our collective progress,” Alia stated.

While expressing his belief in the integrity and track record of the members of the commission to discharge their duties with utmost dedication and in accordance with the noble principles of public service.

The governor, however, urged them to recognise the gravity of their mandate, insisting that the commission is not rooted in distrust but in his administration’s commitment to the principles of accountability, transparency, and good governance to safeguard the interests of the people of the state.

He reiterated his government’s unwavering commitment to effective resources management, citing the timely payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities, to the execution of critical infrastructure projects, as encapsulated in his administration’s blueprint, “A Strategic Development Plan for a Greater Benue.”

Responding separately, the Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Income and Expenditure of the Benue State Government 2015-2023, Justice Taiwo Taiwo (Rtd), as well as that of the Sale/lease of Government Assets, Companies and Markets, Justice Apollos Paul Idi (Rtd), all expressed their readiness to work in line with the terms of reference given them.

They equally promised to do their best to come up with recommendations that will help the government to move the state forward.

The Commission of Inquiry on the Income and Expenditure of Government Funds from May 2015- May 2023, has Hon. Justice Taiwo Taiwo (Rtd) as the Chairman, with Chief John Ochoga, Henry Tor, Tom Ujah, Ode Igbade Nick, Iorpenda Tarnguhar and Terfa Gbande, as members while Barr. Ajinge Sar, Dr. Abraham Gberindyer serve as Government Counsel and Secretary, respectively.

The Commission of Inquiry on the Sale of Assets, Companies and Markets from (2015-2023), has Hon. Justice Apollos Paul Idi (Rtd) as the Chairman, with Clement Nenge Beetse, John Ogah, Dr. Terungwa Adzende and Hon. Abraham Atotse as members while Victor Nyamtamen (Esq.) and John Edigbo serve as Government Council and Secretary, respectively.

“The Commissions have been separately tasked to amongst other things, look into how the Bailout and Paris Club refunds were expended; look into the loans procured by the state during the period question and report on how such loans were used, as well as identify the companies owned by the state government (both active and inactive) and profer solutions on how the inactive ones can be revived, amongst others.

“They have been given six months to complete their assignment and submit their report to the government,” the statement read in part.

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