I need N40b to clear salaries – Ortom
The Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, said at the weekend that he needs N40 billion to clear all outstanding salaries of workers in the employ of the state government.
Ortom’s explanation came on the heels of a three-week ultimatum handed to him last week by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to pay all salaries or face industrial action.
Addressing mourners at the funeral of the late Atese Rebecca Terkpe in Taraku, Gwer Local Government Area of the state, the governor said he had ensured that every worker got paid at least once in two months despite the current economic challenges.
He said that at the moment he needed about N40 billion to clear all arrears of salaries owed all categories of workers, emphasizing that it became necessary to make the clarification because of the impression already created in some quarters that he had not paid salaries for up to 10 months at a stretch.
The governor said he kept to his agreement with labour leaders that as a result of insufficient funds, the federal allocation of two months would be combined to pay one month’s complete salary for workers, stressing, that it was the accumulation of the unpaid months that had given the wrong impression.