Benue state government is set to enjoy an N84 billion domestic debt relief from the Federal Government through swap arrangement.
The Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr David Olofu and that of Information, Culture and Tourism, Michael Inalegwu, flanked by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Terver Akase, made the disclosure after the meeting of Benue State Executive Council, which was held at the People’s House, Makurdi, on Monday.
The relief, according to Olofu, is a product of debt swap from excess and unauthorised deductions from all receipts that have accrued from the Government from the Federation Accounts, for the recovery of all the Federal Government interventions in the state from 2015 to December, 2022.
The meeting, presided over by it Chairman and governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, the Finance Commissioner listed sources of such debts to include bailout, budget support funds, Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Products, UBEC facility, Small and Medium Support and other counterpart funds.
According to Mr Olofu, by implication, Benue state will be freed from domestic debt of N84 billion as of December 2022 through debt swap.
He, however, admitted that the state government will still be contending with other foreign debts loans it inherited from previous administrations.
Speaking further, the Information Commissioner, Mr Inalegwu, explained that the Samuel Ortom administration has been transparent in the conduct of its fiscal responsibilities and whatever it is doing was in the best interest of the state and citizens.
He said the debt relief was a mark of the administration’s determination to ensure that the incoming administration takes off on a sound footing and without any distraction from debt burden.
In his remarks, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Terver Akase, said the Ortom administration is at the moment compiling a hand over document which will be made public regarding total debt profile.