It’s something Benue State workers and the media have known and been saying for several months now. Gov. Samuel Ortom has failed the people who elected him into office.
Hard to believe: No civil servant in Benue have received any salary for the past seven months. Some have not been paid a dime this year. In protest, the workers embarked on an industrial action on October 3, and now even Gov. Ortom himself has admitted that his administration has “failed” them.
You can say that again, Governor: The workers are insisting that they would not call off the strike unless the government pays at least five months salaries. The state government says it can only afford to pay one month. So, stalemate.
The national president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, is now mediating on the matter. After a meeting with Wabba and his team, Gov. Ortom had this to say: “A worker deserves his wages, but the Benue government has not been able to fulfill that obligation. We have failed the workers in this regard.”
Beyond our powers: Ortom said his government is handicapped concerning payment of its workers as the state’s accounts are in a terrible shape.
“Government is worried by its inability to pay workers and has constituted a Joint Technical Committee, comprising civil servants and government officials, to look into the issues surrounding the inability to pay salaries. The committee will also work toward bringing down Benue’s high wage bill of N7.8 billion,” Ortom said.