<<< By Godwin Akor >>>
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has appealed to resident doctors to suspend their ongoing strike to pave the way for dialogue.
Governor Ortom who made the appeal today while receiving members of the Benue State University, BSU, branch of Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, at Benue Peoples House, also requested the consultants to appeal to the striking doctors to return to work so that discussion on the issues bothering them could commence.
The governor urged the resident doctors to consider the plight of millions of Benue people and the sick ones and described their services as humanitarian.
He said there is no amount of pay that could be commensurate to the volume of work they do and explained that the state government throws every month allocation open for scrutiny by stakeholders including labour leaders in the spirit of transparency.
Governor Ortom said about 27 states have problem of payment of salaries and maintained that the Benue situation is better than that of some states..
According to him, Benue workers and pensioners have been paid up to March and April this year while teachers and local government workers have been paid up to January and February respectively.
He said the N28 billion bailout and the N10 billion infrastructure development fund which the state collected were well utilized.
He said state and local government workers had N12.5 billion and N15.5 billion for payment of salary arrears inherited by his administration and noted that N1.6 billion and N1.4 billion were respectively saved during screening.
Governor Ortom said the N1.4 billion saved from the local governments was garnished by an industrial court but the state government has gone on appeal while the N1.6 billion saved at the state level was injected back into salary payment.
Earlier, the Chairman, BSU chapter of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, Professor Godwin Terver Jombo, had commended the governor for making impact in the areas of regular payment of salary of the institution’s staff, timely accreditation of medical school and graduation of medical students who were stagnated for over 12 years, the good salary scale that has attracted best group of consultants to the institution and the restoration of Benue’s lost glory in agriculture.
Jombo also thanked the governor for bringing to book those that allegedly misappropriated N107 billion and introducing the desired change in the state.
He requested for partnership with the state government in area of execution of health projects and assured hat they were ready to render services in the rural areas with the provision of adequate logistics.
Godwin Akor is the SSA, Media to Governor Samuel Ortom