<<< By Terhemba Agee with Radio Benue reports >>>
Following Governor Samuel Ortom’s directive that arrears of salary of Benue State Civil Servants be paid from the bailout fund immediately, the payment has commenced.
Investigation by Radio Benue correspondents, Paul Mandeun and Yakubu Imanche, indicate that civil servants who bank with UBA, Diamond and First City Monument Banks started receiving payment alerts at about three o’clock in the afternoon yesterday.
In many offices visited, workers who had already received their alert were seen rushing to the banks to make withdrawals while many were cheerful, excited and expectant.
Earlier at the office of the State Accountant General, a staff who spoke on condition of anonymity explained that the mandate to pay the arrears was released to UBA before close of work on Wednesday in compliance with the Governor’s directive to that effect.
Mr Dominic Ande a staff of the Bureau of Establishment expressed his gratitude to the Ortom administration stressing that he never expected the money at this time appreciating President Buhari and Governor Ortom for being responsive to the plight of the workers.
Mr Agbatse Justine who is a staff of the water board said he was happy that the change the people overwhelmingly voted for was delivering on its mandate adding that although he received only two out of the three months he was owed, he was optimistic that he will receive the outstanding balance.
Mrs Evelyn Ogaba who is a staff of the Ministry of Information and a mother of two said that the administration has wiped away her tears because as a widow life has not been easy and that with the payment she can now pay her debts.
On her part, Mrs Abigail Abiem, a staff of the office of the Head of Service said she received her complete pay for the three months arrears she was owed stressing that it was an indication that the government was one that cared for the people.
Mrs Doosur Atem on her part appreciated the government for its commitment towards alleviating the sufferings of the people adding that the good gesture of the government has motivated her to be more dedicated to serving the state.
Others who spoke on grounds of anonimity stated that they were happy they have a government that has the welfare of the people at heart stressing that it was great to have a Governor who is responsive and accountable to the workers.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Finance, Frank Usa-Adi, explained that the mandate released to UBA covered three months’ arrears of salary of core civil servants and four months for staff of Hospitals Management Board and Teaching Service Board.
Reacting, State Chairman of Joint Negotiating Councils 1, 2 and 3, Philip Nongo,commended the State Government for responding positively to the plight of workers and appealed that salaries be paid as and when due.