By Nicholas Dechi
Benue governor Samuel Ortom admitted on Monday that his government had failed in its responsibility of paying workers’ salaries.
“A worker deserves his wages, but the Benue government has not been able to fulfill that obligation. We have failed the workers in this regard,” Ortom said in Makurdi, after meeting with national leaders of organised labour.
He, however, said that factors responsible for the inability of the state government to pay salaries were beyond it.
“Government is worried by its inability to pay workers and has constituted a Joint Technical Committee, comprising civil servants and government officials, to look into the issues surrounding the inability to pay salaries.
“The committee will also work toward bringing down Benue’s high wage bill of N7.8 billion,” he said.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), who also spoke with newsmen after the meeting, said that the state government had made offers toward addressing the industrial action embarked upon by the state workers.
Wabba advised government to plug loopholes that had pushed up the state’s wage bill which he said was “too high”.
Wabba and Ortom, however, refused to disclose the offers made by the government.