BENUE BUREAU FOR LG REFUTES ALLEGATIONS OF MISAPPROPRIATION *1.8 billion Naira is needed to pay salaries

Posted: March 6, 2013 in BENUE, political, Uncategorized
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The Benue state bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, has debunked allegations of misappropriation of millions of naira meant for the implementation of the minimum wage for teachers in the state as according to him, the state has not received any special funding to that regard as alleged.

Speaking to newsmen in his office in Makurdi over the weekend, the Special Adviser to the state governor for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Solomon Wombo, reiterated that the rumor making the rounds was a job of detractors who do not mean well for the state.

According to Wombo, the Benue state government has cleared all salaries previously owed by the past administration and is upto date in their salary payment, stressing that any teacher who raises an alarm that the state owes him salaries is certainly lying.

He explained that among the states in the North Central, the state was the first to pay the 27.5 percent salary increment for teachers adding that the failure of the state to implement the current 18 percent
minimum wage as agreed was due to paucity of funds. He informed that 99 percent of the state funds are from the federal allocation while only one percent comes from Internal Generated Revenue.

Wombo asserted that 1.8 billion Naira is needed to pay salaries of core staff of the 23 Local government Areas in the state, while commending Governor Gabriel Suswam for paying priority to staff welfare through salary increment.

The adviser further stressed that apart from the wage bill of the state which includes payment of over 28,000 local government staff, gulps over 1.7 billion Naira as well as 150 million Naira for  payment
of pensioners, thus making it impossible for the state pay the minimum wage to more than 25,000 teachers in the state.

outlining measures embarked upon by the bureau to ensure payment of the minimum wage, Wombo informed that it had carried out a comprehensive screening exercise for teachers in the state which had
unearthed 1000 ghost teachers but this measure was not enough to up the state’s wage bill, he thus stated that they were working on a proposed stake holders forum to bring together ideas on the best way to find alternative source of funds to pay the proposed salary

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