The Benue chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday expressed surprise that workers were owed 12 months salaries, and urged the people to “ask questions and demand answers”.
The party, at a stakeholders’ meeting in Makurdi, said that the state government had no reason to owe workers because it had received monies from “various fronts”.
“Benue has taken loans. It has collected the Paris Club Refunds and received bailout funds from the Federal Government. The regular federal allocations and Internal Generated Revenue have also been coming in.
“In the past two years, much monies have entered the state account; Benue has no reason to owe workers. We must ask questions and demand answers,” former interior minister Abba Moro, who chaired the meeting, said.
He challenged the people to insist on prudent management of resources to enable government meet its obligations.
The former minister also advised Benue residents to prevail on those in government to offer a leadership that was transparent, accountable and people-oriented.
Moro called for unity among PDP members, saying that only a united opposition could unseat the current administration and offer Benue people an alternative leadership.
Also speaking, Mr Terhemen Tarzoor, PDP governorship candidate in the 2015 elections, urged the people to demand for accountability in governance.
“We must all rise up and demand for a responsive and responsible government because that is the key to building a strong economy with opportunities for all,” he said.
He charged Benue residents to offer suggestions on the best way to move the state toward greatness, saying that everyone had a duty to strive for a state that would meet collective dreams.
Mr Duke Audu, Minority Leader, Benue House of Assembly, urged the people to take their destinies in their hands by building a strong political team that would meet the people’s aspirations in the 2019 elections.
The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN), reports that the stakeholders applauded the Supreme Court’s judgement that recognised the Sen. Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, and promised to support the stand-in leadership to rebuild the PDP.
Reacting, Mr Terver Akaase, who agreed that workers were owed salaries, explained, however, that such indebtedness was not up to 12 months.
“In spite of the decline in the allocation from the federation account, the Benue government has tried to reduce the backlog inherited from the past administration.
“Before the advent of this administration, Benue received an average of N6 billion monthly from the central purse. But since we came in, the average has been N2 billion, while our wage bill is more than N4.1 billion.
“It means that what we receive monthly cannot match our monthly wage bill, let alone allow for developmental projects. We have to use two or three allocations to offset a month’s salary,” he explained.