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Unpaid salaries: Benue mulls wage cut, retrenchment

The Benue State Government is considering two options to get out of the non-regular payment of workers’ salaries.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Benson Abounu, who is also the chairman of the screening committee verifying the actual workforce of both the state and local governments, disclosed  this at the  stakeholders’ meeting held in Government House, Makurdi.

Abounu, who gave an interim report of his committee to stakeholders on Monday, explained that the committee was faced with the options of reducing workers’ salaries or retrenching some as possible solution to the non-regular payment of salary in the state.

The deputy governor noted that his committee discovered several anomalies that could have been responsible for huge wage bill of the state which he puts at N7.8bn monthly.

Abounu explained that the shift allowance meant for category of workers on shift duty at the state health management board  were being paid.

The screening committee chairman also said that 7,746 local government workers across the state with total emolument of N530m were recruited without  approval in the past 10 years.

He said, “Our committee was set up to look at the legitimate earnings of workers both at the state and local governments and several anomalies were found which were contained in our interim report.

“For instance, at the health management board, shift allowance is meant for only those on shift duty but to our chagrin, we discovered that all members of staff of this board were collecting shift allowance.

“So also was undue allowances  by members of staff in our tertiary institutions, the staffers  collect  SIWESS allowance every month.

“At the local government  level,  when we carried out the screening, many came up with papers which added to  20,976 workforce, the additional figure is 7,746 members of staff  and these people were recruited with no approval.”

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