Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, on Tuesday, January 3, 2016 said that he was not elected to pay only workers’ salaries to the detriment of other sectors of the state’s economy, Idoma Voice reports.
Ortom made the remark when he played host to the chairman of Northern Governors Forum and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima and the governors of Bauchi and Kano states at the Government House in Makurdi.
“I’m not elected to come and pay only salaries which I can’t even pay as a result of the huge wage bill of the state. I can’t continue like this because I made four electoral promises that must be kept,” Governor Ortom is quoted as saying.
The governor lamented that the state wage bill which stands at over N7 billion monthly was worrisome when compared to Kano State’s N4 billion monthly despite Kano’s large population of 44 local government areas as against Benue with less population in 23 LGAs.
He said the development had continued to constitute problem for his administration which after paying the meagre average sum of N3 billion received from the federation account monthly is usually left with a shortfall of over N4 billion.
Ortom therefore posited that in the next few weeks he would hold a meeting with all stakeholders in the state to extensively deliberate on the matter and find ways to move forward.