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Unpaid Salaries: Benue Lawmakers Halting Executive Pension Bill, Suspend Plenary

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BENUE, Nigeria – In a remarkable act of protest, members of the Benue State House of Assembly in Nigeria have suspended their plenary session due to the non-payment of their salary arrears and allowances for the past six months.

This suspension has put the controversial Executive Pension Bill, submitted for approval by Governor Samuel Ortom, on hold.

The bill, which has already passed its first reading, aims to provide significant benefits to past governors of the state, including four new cars every four years, permanent accommodations, and the hiring of six personal staff for ex-governors and three for their deputies.

Additionally, the bill proposes free medical treatment for the governor’s family, including four children under the age of 18.

Bem Mngutyo, a member of the House, disclosed on Thursday, May 11, 2023, that the House “resolved not to sit until our emoluments and salaries are paid,” according to The Nation.

Mngutyo also revealed that Governor Ortom met with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP members of the House last weekend to discuss the issue.

The Governor reportedly promised to pay the outstanding allowances and salaries with the state’s May federal allocation before he leaves office in the next 18 days.

The suspension of the plenary session casts doubt on the future of the Executive Pension Bill and has brought attention to the issue of unpaid salaries for the lawmakers.

The outcome of this protest and its impact on the bill and the state’s political landscape remain to be seen.

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