The governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, granted an interview to The Punch newspaper on a range of issues. The first question he was asked was on why the state continued to owe the salaries of workers despite receiving bailouts from the Federal Government and benefiting from the Paris Club loan refund.
His response was a classic on how to speak like a Nigerian politician. Check it out below:
“We have declared a STATE OF EMERGENCY on the payment of salaries,” he said. “This means that we will scale down other things and give attention to the payment of salaries every month as we get resources.”
“We have agreed with workers that we will LAUNCH A MANHUNT for ghost workers. I believe that the wage bill of more than N4bn every month is too much for Benue State,” he went on.
“The salaries of workers are about N3bn. We believe that this is too much and there are TRACES OF INFILTRATION here and there. We are going to work together so that no one will complain about VICTIMISATION.”
“We must ELIMINATE those ghost workers. Let me give you an instance. I set up a committee headed by very seasoned administrators who are retired. These men of high reputation and integrity did verification and discovered many ghost workers. These workers had retired but their names are still on the payroll. They are using the same account to collect money from different payment vouchers.”