Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has lamented the exorbitant wage bill of the state, saying it is unacceptable. According to him, the wage bill stood at N7.8 billion.
The Governor who spoke when he hosted the Northern Governors’ Forum yesterday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi said his administration would not be able to sustain the state with the high wage bill.
He compared the wage bill of Benue State with those of the visiting governors saying he will invite stakeholders in the state to determine the way forward.
“The salary wage bill of Benue is unacceptable. Kano state pays slightly above 7 billion naira, Borno state wage bill is less than N4 billion while Bauchi is slightly above N5 billion, therefore, Benue cannot continue to pay over 7.8 billion as wage bill.
“We will not continue the way we have been doing in the past 17 months. I will call stakeholders and we will discuss the way forward.
“I was not elected governor to pay only salaries which I have not even been able to pay up to date.” Governor Ortom said.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shetima praised Governor Ortom for exemplary leadership.
He said the Governor had done a lot considering the huge wage bill of the state in the face of limited funds, adding that he deserved a pat on the back.
He said they in were in the State to pay homage to the Tor Tiv-elect, Professor James Ortese Ayatse and to congratulate the people of the state and the Tiv nation in particular on the emergence of the new Paramount Ruler.
The delegation of the Governors had Alhaji Kashim Shetima of Borno, Governor of Kano, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as well as the Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi.