A group known as the Benue People of Conscience (B-POC) has drummed support for the Benue State government in its bid to access the loan facility of N41.39 billion.
According to the group, the Ortom-led government needs the money to pay for pensions and workers salary.
It should be noted that the state lawmakers Assemble had earlier approved the said amount to be accessed by the state government for the payment of pensions and workers’ wages.
Speaking in a statement released by its Chairman, John Orshi and Secretary, Tersoo Iorbee, the group accused some individuals if planning to poison the minds of the federal government against granting the state government access to the loan.
The group said that the president Mohammadu Buhari-led government is also borrowing to meet some of its needs.
“Recently, we read with dismay reasons advanced by persons, as to why the Federal Government should not allow the Benue State Government to access a loan facility of N41.39 billion approved by the Benue State House of Assembly to pay pensions and workers’ emoluments.
“The Benue People of Conscience (B-POC) do not wish to glorify anyone by engaging them. However, we wish to state the facts as they are on why Benue State Government should access the loan facility to pay its workers and pensioners.
“We have seen other theatrics that have played out as part of efforts to frustrate the State Government on other issues as well, but we do not want to go into all that for now.
“However, we would like to state facts and let the people know that very soon, it would be near impossible for most State Governments in the country, including Benue to pay workers’ salaries without borrowing.
“Some persons have argued that the Benue State Government and indeed, Governor Samuel Ortom should not be allowed to access the loan because he has mismanaged resources earlier made available to Benue.
“But when we talk of mismanagement of resources, who has mismanaged resources like the Federal Government?”
The group added that a situation where some persons would want to glorify the Federal Government and make it look like it is doing well without borrowing is sycophancy of the highest order.
“Based on facts on our hands, we know that the Federal Government is even borrowing money to service some of its needs, including debt repayment after squandering funds from the Excess Crude Account.
“For instance, when the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in 2015, it inherited from former President Goodluck Jonathan, Excess Crude Account worth about $2.2 billion.
“However, as we speak, less than 8 years down the line and as at today we have slightly above $376,000 in that Account, which represents less than half a billion dollars left in the Excess Crude Account and the Federal Government is still borrowing.
“Even as we speak, Nigeria is generating about N1.6 trillion, monthly, while it is spending about N1.9 trillion to service debts. The meaning of this is that the balance of N300 billion is being borrowed to service debts.
“It would also shock you to know that our Excess Reserve is fast depleting. A cursory look would show you that if we continue our spendings the way we are currently going as a nation, before the end of the year 2022, Nigeria will be stone broke.
“That is why we are so shocked, when someone calls on the Federal Government and requests it to stop Benue from accessing the loan facility as if the Federal Government were some sort of saint.”