Benue to pay pensioners N400 million monthly

Samuel Ortom

Samuel Ortom

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has approved the release of N400 million for the payment of pension and gratuity to local council and state pensioners every month.

The governor, who disclosed this while playing host to the national leadership of Benue State University Alumni Association at Benue People’s House, said N200 million would be paid to pensioners at each level.

He said the state government decided to use part of the budget support fund from the Federal Government for the purpose and explained that Benue’s budget support fund would be N1.3 billion and N1.1 billion for three and nine months respectively.

Governor Ortom said the Federal Government decided to approve the option of budget support fund, because conditions for obtaining loans from the Paris Club and IMF were too stringent for the country and added that at the last national economic council meeting, it was agreed that Nigeria should diversify its economy through agriculture.

He said it has become obvious that oil can no longer sustain Nigeria, because of low prices in the international market and activities of Niger Delta Avengers and maintained that while some states are owing workers seven months salary, Benue is owing local government and state workers salaries for five and four months respectively.

According to him, the state’s university staff have been paid up to June while total monthly salary bill for the state is between N7 to 8 billion as against the less than N4 billion being received from federation account.
Governor Ortom said he was not comfortable with the result of the biometric screening that was carried out in the recent past because the wage bill has increased instead of decreasing.

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