Tuesday 24th October, 2017
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Benue: ADP alleges ineptitude, rejects wage cut, retrenchment

Benue: ADP alleges ineptitude, rejects wage cut, retrenchment

Benue State Chapter of the Action Democratic Party over the weekend rejected in its entirety the proposed wage cut/ retrenchment by the Benue State government under the watch of Governor Samuel Or­tom.

The party’s position was con­tained in a press statement signed by its states chairman Hon Ochiedu Isah Aboh, a copy of which was made available to The AUTHORITY.

The statement said if govern­ment had efficiently utilized the monthly revenue allocation from the Federation Account, bud­get support funds, bailout funds and Paris Club refunds from the Federal Government to augment internal revenue to clear arrears of pensions and workers’ salaries it would not have found itself in the current financial mess stress­ing that at present, Benue State was still owing several months of pensions and salaries in spite of available revenue from the above sources.

The release noted that “The at­tention the Action Democratic Party (ADP), has been drawn to recent reports quoting Governor Samuel Ortom as calling for ad­vice from Benue people on how to deal with the challenge of the State’s huge wage bill. He report­edly made the call at a recent stakeholders’ meeting in Makurdi after observing that the wage bill is one of the highest in the North and is unsustainable.

“Our understanding of the gov­ernor’s call for advice on the wage bill is that his government has made up its mind to cut salaries and or retrench workers. His pub­lic request for advice, therefore, is only meant to create the impres­sion that the people of the state, as represented by the selected stakeholders, have given him the mandate to cut wages or retrench workers.”

It added what this portend was a lack of seriousness, prudence, ad­ministrative capacity, innovative­ness, compassion and focus.

It informed it was a sad develop­ment that administration has im­plemented the following measures since 2015 when it came to power:

(1) Retention of the existing embargo on employment into the state civil service;

(2). Removal from the payroll the names of all civil servants em­ployed by the preceding govern­ment between 2013 and 2015; (3) Setting up of judicial and admin­istrative commissions of enquiry to ascertain the state of finances, assets and liabilities of the state government in the eight years preceding his administration; (4) Conduct of biometric identifica­tion of state civil servants, local government staff and primary school teachers; (5.) Direct screen­ing of state civil servants among others expressing dismay that in spite of all this measures which were aimed at downsizing the wage bill of the state, its monthly bill keeps rising stressing that;

“In spite of these measures, the state’s wage bill keeps rising; and if in spite of the findings and rec­ommendations of these exercises, government has no clue about what to do – other than wage cuts or retrenchment – it shows that the government is inept. If the government is awarding new contracts rather than pay back­logs of workers’ salaries and pen­sions, it means the government is not focused and is lacking in concern for the people’s welfare. If a government that rode to power on the promise of regular payment of salaries has accu­mulated more arrears than it in­herited, in spite of special funds released by the Federal Govern­ment for that purpose, that gov­ernment has failed to live up to expectation.”

“From the above submission, it is very clear that the Ortom administration is inept, lacks innovative solutions to even routine challenges, unfocused, imprudent, uncaring, and a dis­appointment to the people of Benue State. In short, for its in­ability to deal with the wage bill problem, the Ortom administra­tion has failed and should resign to pave the way for those who are serious about governance.

“We therefore, enjoin Benue people and all Nigerians to team up with our movement, the Ac­tion Democratic Party (ADP) so that we can give the sound leadership that our state and our country need.”