Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has attributed his administration’s failure to pay workers’ salary on time to economic recession.
Governor Ortom, who said this in an interview with the Sun newspaper, said the dwindling oil price beat down the state’s allocation from the Federal Government.
He added that having to battle with reduced allocation and debts inherited from previous governments, the state had to resort to borrowing to cushion the effect.
“Nigeria went through a recession and just came out of it, though it is still very fragile but we are trusting and believing God that things will work and the economy will blossom and grow and things will be better,” the governor said.
“We took over power at a time that the main source of revenue to the states went down as a result of the drastic fall in oil prices. Oil that sold for about $140 a barrel went for as low as below $30.”
Furthermore, he stated that “with the various interventions of the federal government and the borrowing, we thought we could redeem the situation to a level, but we could not redeem the whole situation.
“Now paying a wage bill which is N8.2billion including the additional responsibilities that came on our finances from the minimum wage of teachers which was close to N300million became a challenge. We, through various screenings were able to save up to N700million.”