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Hyacinth: I’ll ensure payment of salaries, arrears owed to Benue workers

Hyacinth Alia, governor of Benue state Hyacinth Alia, governor of Benue state

Hyacinth Alia, governor of Benue state, says his administration will ensure prompt payment of workers’ salaries and arrears owed by the past administration.

Speaking with state house correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu in Abuja, Alia bemoaned the N359 billion salary bill that his administration inherited.

He described the situation as a setback for his government.

“Since we came in, I know that Benue state, on record, has the debts of all over N359 billion being pensions and gratuities, salaries and arrears as well as the debts ranging from the poor and then the domestics,” he said.

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“What we’re trying to do is to see how we can renegotiate these and then to get back on a better perspective and then to forge ahead with the development of this state.

“For now, we have established the continued payment of salaries each month. If you are a staff of the states or the local government in Benue state, I would have only told you keep watch on your light on the 25th of every month.

“Our alert must tell you that you have been paid and that has come to stay and that is what we’ve been experiencing in the last four months and we’re serious at it. A laborer deserves his wages.

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“So, the state is not going to owe anything to anyone. Again, to those who are retiring since this 2023, we’ve already made it a point of duty that once you retire it must not take up to four months before you collect your gratuities and your pension.

“By doing this, gradually we’re going to revisit the backlog of arrears that exists. In fact we’ve started work on that already.

“So, we’re trying to raise the IGR. So, once it is raised any month, then we have something in there, it goes straight to the arears of pensioners, and then even of salaries.”

The governor also said the state is enjoying relative peace that was absent because of the political division of the people.

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“Insecurity in the past was something of trouble. But, we are pleased to know that so much work has been done and relative peace has returned to the state and I will continue to do the work,” he said.

“The aim being that we want to get all the IDPs back home to their ancestral homes and ancestral farm lands. Before may 29, It was very impossible for the IDPs to get back to their ancestral places, even to farm. This current season they were able to go back and do this.

“However, we still have skirmishes. All the other security apparatuses are on it and are helping so much. So, it remains our firm hope and resolution that we’ll get them back to their ancestor homes.

“And we cannot thank the federal government enough for assisting us by all ramifications for us to be able to achieve this.”

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