APC, PDP disagree over wage bill of Benue

Benue state

Benue state

• Varsity ASUU suspend strike • Group faults Assembly’s trip to Obudu Resort

THE All Progressive Congress APC-led government in Benue State and the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP have disagreed over the monthly wage bill of the state.

Contrary to the much-speculated payment of N3.7 billion monthly wage bill for workers in the past two months by the government, the PDP has insisted that before it left government, the wage bill it left on ground was N2.7 billion monthly.

Addressing journalists in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, the Acting State Chairman of PDP, Godwin Ayihe wondered why the administration would be speculating a rise in the monthly wage bill of the state.

Ayihe called on Governor Samuel Ortom to explain indices leading to the sudden rise in the workers monthly wage bill two months after assuming office and details of how other monies accruing to government are being spent.
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU Benue State University chapter, Makurdi has suspended its over four months strike action.

In a different development, a group under the aegis of Benue Integrity Forum has slammed the State House of Assembly for embarking on a three-day training workshop at Obudu Mountain Resort, in Cross River state, instead of them to have collaborated with the executive to cut cost in governance.

“Whereas there has been no new recruitment, no promotion, no increase in overhead, so what gave rise to the increase in wage bill and he has only paid two months salaries,” PDP boss questioned.

Ayihe, who said the APC government is full of impunity, alleges massive siphoning of state treasury by the new government and seeks explanation what happen to the June allocation and LLNG money in which the governor himself had acknowledged collection.

But, Governor Ortom had earlier on in an address to the people of the state explained that the rationale for the borrowing of the N10 billion was to enable him pay workers salaries and enhance take off of government.
The union embarked on strike since March 9 this year when former governor, Gabriel Suswam failed to pay them their February salaries, but demanded that the institution be shut down and keys handed over to him.

Chairman of ASUU in the institution, Dr. David Ikoni announced this during the Senate meeting of the University saying the decision to call-off the intractable strike followed the intervention of the present administration of Governor Samuel Ortom as conveyed in an agreement.

Addressing journalists in Makurdi, the state capital, the chairman of the group, Aondowase Peter said the whole exercise was a jamboree and wondered why the lawmakers would embarked on such wild money spending spree wasting over N500 million in boosting another state’s economy on services that ordinarily would have been gotten within the state.

The group noted that the entire exercise was a show of reckless spending of the state scarce resources even when the state government was still grappling with payment of workers salary and threatens to beam more of their searchlight on the Eighth Assembly.

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