From Uche Nnorom Makurdi
Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Titus Zam has denied allegations that bailout funds meant for payment of local staff has been diverted.
Zam who denied the allegation at a press briefing meant to highlight his scorecard for the three years in office, said there is no substantiate claims to prove that over three billion naira was diverted.
He explained that payment of genuine local government staff was ongoing when workers of Taraku Mills who have no business with local government affairs went to court and secured judgement against the Bureau which has already been appealed.
“No claims that three billion naira was diverted neither has any security agency invited me for questioning. We have instead saved over two billion naira. Staff of Taraku mill who took us to court have no business with local government. They procured judgement and our account has been garnished. We have however, appealed the judgement and hope to get justice at the end,” he said.
The special adviser also, intimated that new Toyota Hilux vehicles have purchased at the cost of 19 million naira each for the 23 local government chairmen, adding that payment for the vehicles have been spread in three (3) installments.
He further stated that government has ensured stability in the chieftaincy institution in the State with the installation of 10 first class chiefs and 44 second class chiefs, maintaining that since the assumption of office of the present administration, no chief has been deposed.
Zam said there has reduction of spate of internal and communal crisis in the State, averring that salaries of traditional chiefs as well as staff of local government are now regular.
“ We have achieved some success in the renovation of the palace of the paramount ruler of Tiv nation and chairman, Benue State council of Chiefs Tor Tiv IV Ochivirgh Prof. James Ayatse which is 70 percent completed.