Saturday, January 7, 2017 12:27 pm
The Benue State government says that the state Governor, Samuel Ortom is committed to the welfare of workers, and will do nothing to jeopardize the interest of generality of the people. This is contained in a statement by Mr. Terver Akase, Chief Press Secretary, CPS to the Governor in Makurdi on Saturday.
Akase says the clarification became necessary to correct insinuations and mischievous statements being peddled by some persons to cast the Governor in bad light regarding a recent remarks he made about the state wage bill.
“Governor Ortom was addressing a delegation of the Northern Governors’ Forum at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi earlier this week when he made reference to the issue of the huge wage bill of the state, saying that it was adversely affecting other sectors of the economy.
“The Governor neither said that the government would stop paying salaries nor cut down the wages. What he said without mincing words was that the wage bill of over N7 billion at state and local government levels is one of the highest in the country whereas the state has lean resources resulting in monthly shortfall in the payment of salaries.
Akase recalls that Governor Ortom “went on to state that the wage bill has made governance extremely difficult, stressing that he was overwhelmingly elected by the people to bring development to all sectors of the economy not only for payment of salaries.
“He informed his guests and the people of the state that he would soon convene a stakeholders’ forum to deliberate on the issue of the wage bill to find the way forward.
“Since his assumption of office, Governor Ortom has left no one in doubt about his commitment to the welfare of workers. This is evident in his prompt approval of minimum wage for teachers, commencement of full payment of salaries, payment of pensions and sourcing of N28 billion to clear the backlog of wages his predecessor left behind. The Governor’s inclusion of labour unions in the monthly joint account meetings is another step which is first of its kind in the state.
“The Governor has demonstrated uncommon transparency and resolve to serve the state selflessly and will not be distracted by those whose only aim is to ensure that the present administration does nothing meaningful for the people.