By James Ibechi
Benue State Governor,Samuel Ortom has attributed the failure of the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (Sure-P) of the Federal Government in the state to misappropriation of funds meant for its implementation.
Speaking on Monday at the Benue People’s House Makurdi when a group of the Graduate Internship Scheme,Benue State Sure-P led by Mr.Tony Agada paid him a courtesy visit,Governor Ortom wondered why the programme could not succeed in the State when funds were adequately released for the purpose.
He explained that it was for such reason that,his administration had set machinery in motion to ensure that the over Seven Billion Naira released to the State for implementation of Sure-P must be accounted for by the previous government.
The Governor maintained that apart from siphoning the Sure-P funds,the entire concept of the programme was outrightly misconstrued in the State which was why the out gone administration hurriedly last May began the process of absorbing the Trainee Staff into the State Civil Service when it was unable to pay the regular Workers for many months.
Governor Ortom opined that though,he was not opposed to absorbing the Trainees into the State Civil Service as they had requested or as it was decently necessary by any rational government,the reality of paucity of funds which had necessitated borrowings by his government to pay salaries and arrears of workers up to date had made it difficult to even contemplate that,appealing to the Sure-P Staff to understand.
Earlier,Leader of the group of Sure-P Staff who is attached to Radio Benue Mr.Agada said they were before the Governor to intimate him of their condition after the internship programme was canceled and to appeal that he uses his good offices to continue the process of absorbing them into the Service to continue to offer services to the fatherland.
He also informed the Governor that though they had not been paid for months,they were still offering their services in the Organisations they were deployed and appealed to the Governor to look into the matter.