Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Friday vowed that he would not bungle his last opportunity to stop all the fraudulent activities going on in the state.
“This is my last opportunity to stop all the fraudulent activities going on in the state. I am not going to look at anybody’s face, if you are not doing what I employed you for, I will take you out.”
Ortom made the vow at Government House Makurdi, while receiving an interim report from the Committee on Review and Repositioning of SUBEB, headed by Commissioner for Education, Professor Dennis Ityavyar.
While promising to deal decisively with any officer found to be involved in fraudulent activities going on at the State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB), the Governor said that anyone indicted in the report of the committee would be thoroughly investigated and sanctioned, if found guilty.
Governor Ortom posited that the impression that SUBEB is an ATM machine for corrupt officials would no longer be tolerated stressing that he will throw out anyone involved no matter whose ox is gored.
Governor Ortom was visibly shocked to hear that 20 computers allegedly were given to him by SUBEB on the directives of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) saying such must be substantiated by those concerned.
On hearing this, journalists
demanded that the 20 computers for them the see and the Governor stood down the meeting for ten minutes to allow the Director of Academic Services at SUBEB get all the computers to government house.
The Director had to race to SUBEB headquarters to bring them and clarify that no computer was given to the Governor.
Earlier while presenting the report, Commissioner for Education, Dennis Ityavyar disclosed that the committee visited 20 out of the 23 local government areas during which shocking revelations were discovered.
Ityavyar revealed that the present staff strength of primary school teachers was found out to be false resulting in the over bloated wage bill, adding that the board currently operates 19 bank accounts which was also an act of fraud.
It was also discovered that over 1,000 staff who were due for retirement were still in the service without recourse to the fact that impending retirees should be communicated in writing six months to their retirement date so that they could proceed on terminal leave three months to their retirement.
The committee, among othwr things, recommended a review of the law establishing SUBEB, appointment of a legal adviser for the board, separation of procurement office from that of accountant as well as forensic auditing of accounts of the board for sanity be entrenched.