Benue governor to pay workers’ salaries with Paris Club refund

– Terver Akase, the governor’s chief press secretary, revealed why the state had received just N6.4bn even though it was expecting 25 percent of the second tranche of the Paris Club refund

Akase disclosed that the state government would still have to augment the money received, in order for it to be able to pay one month’s salaries – The governor’s aide also stressed that infrastructural development would not suffer, even though the state government is focusing on paying workers’ salaries at the moment Samuel Ortom, the Benue state governor, has disclosed that workers’ salaries would be paid with the just released second tranche of the Paris Club Refund of N6.4billion to the state.

According to reports, the development was made public on Wednesday, July 19, by the governor’s chief press secretary Terver Akase, while speaking with newsmen in Makurdi, the state’s capital.

notes that the governor’s aide revealed that Benue state received 12.5% out of the 25% (N13 billion) of the second tranche of the Paris Club refund it was expecting. According to Akase, as agreed by all 36 state governors, 5% of the money was taken at source, to pay the consultant. He stated: “The state was expecting 25% of the refund in the second tranche. “What came in was just N6.8 billion. Five percent was taken from the amount.

That is why we have 6.4 billion.” However, Akase disclosed that in order to be able to pay one month’s salaries, the state government would still need to augment the N6.4billion, because the state’s current wage bill- including pensions and overhead – was over N7.8 billion. He stated: “The N6.4 billion that was released is not even enough to pay for one month salary and the internally generated revenue is between N250 million and N300 million monthly. “So it would have to augment it from other sources to be able to pay for one month salary.”

Akase insisted that even though the state government chose to focus on paying workers’ salaries, it did not mean that infrastructural projects in the state would take a back seat. According to him, as soon as funds were available, ongoing projects would be completed.

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