Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has stated that all the previous federal government intervention to the state was not enough to clear salary arrears he inherited on assumption of office.

Within the last two years, the state had received bailouts and Paris club refund totaling about N49 billion from federal government.

The governor spoke at the inauguration of Provinces four and three of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in the state which was held separately in Gboko and Makurdi said that he inherited salary, pension and gratuity arrears of N69 billion on assumption of office.

This he said his administration was able to offset substantially with the interventions from federal government which included the bailout and Paris Club refunds pointing out however that shortfalls from the monthly allocations have made it impossible to clear the arrears.

At the time he assumed office, Ortom said the monthly wage bill of the state including pensions, overheads and gratuity was N8.2 billion without the implementation of the minimum wage for teachers which when implemented further increased the bill to about N8.5 billion.

He explained, ”after series of screening exercises the bill had been reduced to about N7.8 billion which still remained one of the highest alongside industrialized states like Kano, Kaduna, and Ogun while the total monthly allocation stands at an average of N6 billion.”

”Following the development, the state government reached an understanding with the state workers whose leaders have been involved in the disbursement of state funds that two months allocations would be combined to pay one month’s full salary which I have kept since 2015.”

While assuring that God will help him to surmount all the problems, governor Ortom appealed to the people of the state to continue to trust God.

He urged Christians against murmuring like the Israelite who had desired deliverance from Egypt when they encountered difficulties in the wilderness but rather to look up to God for help with their prayers.

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