Gov. Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau says his administration inherited a debt burden of N307 billion from the immediate past administration in the state.
The governor disclosed this shortly after receiving the reports of the committees on Transition and Strategic Development Framework for Plateau, on Monday in Jos.
The two committees were headed by Prof. Ganyir Lombin.
The governor expressed his determination to take the state to greater heights, in spite of its huge debt profile.
Mutfwang particularly expressed his readiness to tackle the current security challenges in the state.
“Throughout the campaign season, we were under the mistaken belief that our debt burden was around N200 billion; to hear that it is N307 billion is quite intimidating and worrisome.
“But, by the special grace of God, these challenges we are confronted with are surmountable.
“Of particular concern is the issue of insecurity which, unfortunately, has become a major distraction for us.
”But we are confident that with the new security chiefs on the ground and the Special Adviser on Security assuming responsibility, we will see a difference not too long from now,” Mutfwang said.
The governor promised to meticulously study the document presented to him, adding that further investigation would be conducted and appropriate action would be taken as well.
Earlier, Lombin explained that some operational challenges prevented the two committees, which had appointees of the past administration as members, from jointly presenting their report.
He said that the handover notes presented to the governor on May 29 was not in consonance with the agreed template developed by the joint committee.
He said in the note, the revenue, which accrued to the State Government from May 2015 to May 2023, stood at N872 billion, adding that the report only gave the total expenditure from May 2015 to December 2022 and excluded that of January to May, 2023.
“There is no clear figure for the state’s monthly wage bill, however, this administration has inherited a backlog of four months unpaid salaries to public servants amounting to over N11 billion.
”Outstanding gratuity and pension arrears of N24 billion was also inherited.
“The Legacy Projects are marred in controversies and unresolved legal cases which have stalled their completion.
”Currently, the sum of N12 billion for these projects is still in the custody of the Trustees of the funds,” he said.
The chairman called for more investigations on the 3,692 government’s assets and properties allegedly sold and auctioned within and outside the state.
”It is a thing of deep concern that this government inherited a near-bankrupt state, with weak institutions, low public morale, and a high level of insecurity, but with high expectations from the people,”he said.
Presenting a Four-Year Strategic Development Blueprint for Plateau, Lombin expressed confidence on Mutfwang’s determination to improve the welfare and wellbeing of the people.(NAN)