Benue State Governor, Samuel Ioraer Ortom has denied claims made in some quarters that he’s owing pensioners 6 years worth of pension arrears.
The Governor has in the past said he inherited about N70bn debt of salaries, pensions and gratuity.
Ortom said in 2021, “I inherited N70bn naira debt of salaries, pensions and gratuities. We have to look at better ways of earning money to pay.”
The Governor who has in his time as the leader of the state built personal companies, including Oracle Farms, where he deals in all kinds of animals and grows different varieties of crops, and has recently started making his own bird feeds.
In addition, he has opened the International College of Technology (technology) in Makurdi, the state capital, where different handiworks ranging from shoe making to belt making are taught.
It’s not hard to guess that the former Minister is not building all these just with his salary. And if there was a doubt that he was doing so with his salary, he’s almost finishing work on a brand new cassava processing plant, along Makurdi-Gboko Road.
But when asked about senior citizens who worked for the state and are being owed their due pay, he said “Benue pensioners are lying that I am owing them for 72 months (6 years). I owe them only 68 months (5 years, 6 months).”
Ortom is in the race for the Benue Zone B Senatorial seat, a now seemingly normal path for former governors. Almost half of senators are former state governors, and Ortom is hoping to join them.