Benue State government has disclosed plans to scale down the wages of civil servants and public officers, following the dwindling resources accruing to the state from the federation account.

Gabriel Suswam Benue state governor

Gabriel Suswam
Benue state governor

The state governor, Dr Gabriel Suswam, who disclosed this yesterday at Government House Banquet Hall, Makurdi, where he signed the 2014 appropriation bill of N108billion into law, told lawmakers that the only way the government would bring back the striking primary school teachers who had been on strike for the past four months, back to class, was to cut down the wages of civil servants and bring it at par with the salaries of teachers.

The governor said he implemented the new minimum wage to civil servants thinking that the excess crude oil that was coming then would continue.

According to him, ‘as at the time of the agitation for the implementation of new minimum wage by labour we were having excess crude oil constantly that made me to approve the salary structure brought to me which is one of the highest in the country’.

He said: “For instance, before the new minimum wage Permanent Secretary and Directors were receiving N150,000 and N50,000 respectively but with the new minimum wage the salary jumped to N400,000 and N150,000 respectively.”

“As our financial position stand now, there is no way we can sustain that salary structure, so we are going to scale down the salary of workers or else every activity of government will be brought to a halt because right now the wage bill of the state civil servant is N2.8billion while the average allocation to the state since last year stands at N3.2billion including VAT.”

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