Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has disclosed that the screening of local government staff revealed that one individual inserted 160 names on a payment voucher and was collecting salaries for the names.
He made the disclosure at the 2015 Praise Night held at the Open Air Theatre of the Aminu Isah Kontagora Complex yesterday, even as he pledged to contribute to make the occasion better next year.
According to him, the insistence on the screening was justified, stressing that anyone involved in sharp practices would be handed over to the police for investigation and prosecution.
The Governor said a third person involved in fraud at the ICT Center of the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has been uncovered and that he has directed that he should be handed over to the police.
‘‘We are committed to doing the right thing. I have told appointees who took the oath of office before me that they must sit up and be prepared to serve the state selflessly.’’
The Governor assured the people that he would never shortchange them and would not allow anyone to do so.
Governor Ortom solicited cooperation from the Church for ethical reorientation of the people so that they could do what was right even as he pledged to collaborate with religious organisations in the education, health and agriculture sectors.
He said he introduced austerity measures to enable him cope with the challenges of the current economic downturn and urged officials of his administration to be on the same page with him.
The Governor stated that he reduced some of his entitlements, trips and other avoidable expenses.
He urged the people of the state to return to agriculture and also intensify involvement in micro, small and medium scale enterprises as well as commercial and investment activities to boost the economy of the state.
Preaching on the occasion, President of the Full Gospel Revival Crusade in Nigeria, Reverend Thomas Igyah, urged Christians to live worthy lives so that people would see their good works and glorify God.
Chief Judge of the State, Mr Justice Iorhemen Hwande, advised Christians not to murmur against leaders but rather pray for them to lead aright.
He urged the Governor to monitor his appointees so as to ensure that they operate on the same page with him.
The Praise Night also featured intercessory prayers and choir ministration.