Saturday, February 6

Suswam Indicted, To Account For N107 Billion

Suswam Indicted, To Account For N107 Billion

Suswam

The Justice Kpojime Commis­sion of Inquiry into the income and expenditure of Benue State from 2007 to 2015 has recommend­ed that 52 individuals and 10 corporate bodies should refund over N107 billion to the coffers of the state gov­ernment.

It also recommended deeper in­vestigation and possible refund of over N44 billion. These recommendations were contained in the report which the Chairman of the commission, Justice Elizabeth Kpojime submitted to Gov­ernor Samuel Ortom at the Benue Peo­ples House, yesterday.

She disclosed that during the peri­od covered by the assignment, N1.21 trillion accrued to the state from about 27 identified sources out of which N802 billion was appropriated while N219 billion was expended but not ap­propriated.

“Out of the total revenue that ac­crued to the state, only 15 percent thereof was allocated to capital ex­penditure, while 85 percent was for recurrent expenditure.

“The little amount allocated to capital expenditure was characterized by lack of due diligence in contract awards, contracts inflation, abandon­ment of projects after collecting pay­ments as well as payments for jobs not done, while there were multiple pay­ments for same jobs,” Justice Kpojime stated.

According to her, the management of the huge recurrent expenditure was even worse as financial instructions and regulations were completely set aside, examples of which she said in­clude outright theft of public revenue such as the payment of N3.11 billion out of the proceeds of the sale of gov­ernment shares into a private account.

Receiving the report, Governor Ortom commended the commission for a diligent and painstaking job done within the time frame given to it.

He said he would set up a white paper drafting committee immediate­ly assuring that the white paper would be implemented to the latter.

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