Why I Have Not Paid Workers’ Salaries Since March—Ortom
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has admitted that he has been unable to pay salaries since March and the arrears of pensions, gratuity and salaries owed have been put on hold.
He admitted the over four months non payment of salaries on Thursday during an interview on Arise TV. But the governor blamed the federal government for the state’s failure.
Ortom had revealed that his government inherited N70bn debt comprising salaries, gratuity and pensions arrears.
But he said despite the difficulties in sourcing funds, he has reduced the debts to N38bn as of July this year.
The governor said, “When I came in 2015, it was a problem. Accumulated salaries over the years beyond the governor that I took overt from, I inherited N70bn arrears of salaries pension and gratuity. And I have been able to deplete this during my time from 2015 to date and the arrears now stands at just about N38bn which I’m sourcing funds. Other states too have the same problem and the federal government came in and approved not bailout but loans for them to pay.
“And people said that you cannot bailout by borrowing. That is why even this current federal government is borrowing money everywhere. The way the economy is today, you cannot do without borrowing to solve your problems in states and all that. Go back, I am not the only one. Several states are suffering the same problems. You heard that over 30 states cannot pay salaries as at when due as at today.