The Benue state government verification committee inaugurated to investigate the high wage bill, has uncovered N1.4b salary fraud.
Ortom also told newsmen that his administration will tackle the challenge and also, block all leakages in government.
The Governor said “We have noticed that there is a cartel that is responsible for the over-bloated wage bill in the state. We have set up various committees and they are working.
“One tenth of the work force was screened, using the last payment chat and it was discovered that within a period of one year and three months, N1.4 billion was siphoned through ghost workers. Retirees still had their names in the payroll.
“I believe having a wage bill at the local government level of N3.7 billion is a big challenge. Add the N4.2 billion bill at the state level, you are talking of about N7.9 billion.
“For a state such as ours, it is quite unacceptable.”