Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has debunked the rumour that his administration is planning to cut salaries of workers in the state and appealed to workers to disregard any rumour aimed at misleading them.
This became necessary following controversies surrounding the recent utterances made by the Governor during a visit by the delegation of some Northern states Governors, that he was elected as governor not to only pay salaries of workers and neglect other sectors of the state.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Terver Akase and made available to LEADERSHIP said that it has become necessary to clarify insinuations and mischievous statements being peddled by some persons to cast me in a bad light, regarding my recent remarks about the state wage bill.
According to Akase, Governor Ortom was addressing a delegation of the Northern Governors’ Forum at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi last week, when he made reference to the issue of the huge wage bill of the state, that it was adversely affecting other sectors of the state economy.
“The Governor neither said that the government would stop paying salaries nor cut down the wages, What he said without missing 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.” he stated.
Akase added the governor went further 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.
According to him, the state would soon convene a stakeholders’ forum to deliberate on the issue of the wage bill to find the way forward.
The chief Press secretary explained that, since 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, and 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.”
He urged the people of the State not to be deterred by the rumour aimed at tarnishing the image of the Governor, but to support the good intentions of the Governor’s uncommon transparency and resolve to serve the state selflessly, adding that the governor would not be distracted by those whose only aim is to ensure that the present administration does nothing meaningful for the people.