JESAC faults illegal diversion of bailout funds in Benue

The Joint Education Stakeholders Action Coalition (JESAC) has condemned the alleged diversion of bailout funds meant for the payment of salary arrears by the government of Benue state under Governor Samuel Ortom.

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It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is presently investigating the roles of the Special Adviser to Governor Ortom on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Titus Zam, in the illegal diversion of the several biilions of naira bailout funds given to the state.

In a media note, Mr Ike Onyechere, National Coordinator of JESAC, alleged that many state governors including Governor Ortom of Benue state had not utilised the bailout funds released to them by the Federal Government hence some of them still owed teachers salary.

Mr. Onyechere added that the federal government’s intervention failed to pull the states out of stress as a result of illegal diversion of the bailout funds by some state governor.

In a related development, the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions has demanded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide a full report on the implementation of over N250 billion extended to states to offset salary arrears.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, who led his colleagues on oversight visit to CBN said the apex bank had briefed the committee on how the bailout was administered but the committee demanded for full report even though they were satisfied with CBN explanations.

“We discussed on the bailout and the CBN told us all that they have done. But we have requested for a detailed hard copy report about the bailout and the loan system. We are satisfied with the implementations” he said.

On alleged lack of synergy between the monetary and fiscal authorities, the Senate committee said, “We discussed that but we don’t see any problem. I think it is a problem of perception. When a country is in this kind of situation, all of us are in a hurry to get out”.

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