Benue assembly queries governor for declaring state of emergency on salaries

The Benue State House of Assembly has asked Gov Samuel Ortom to urgently furnish it with information on the declaration of state of emergency on salaries.

The house arrived at the decision during plenary on Tuesday in Makurdi.

Ortom declared a state of emergency on salaries of workers in the state while addressing workers on May 1.

The member representing Ukum State Constituency, Mr Paul Bia, who asked the house to put other businesses of the day on hold, moved a motion of urgent public importance.

Biam expressed concern over the declaration by Ortom.

According to Biam, “a state of emergency means a situation where you suspend other issues to face more disastrous issues; so how and when did salary issue become a disastrous issue?

“Government is allowed to collect revenues and government also collects huge allocations from the federal coffers; so how have all the monies affected the people positively?”

He, therefore, prayed that Ortom should tell the house what he meant by declaring a state of emergency on a situation which is not really an emergency.

Biam further advised that the governor should urgently furnish the house on the parameters to be used in the state of emergency.

“The governor should also furnish the house information on how the internally generated revenues and the status of federal allocation.”

Seconding the motion, Mr Joseph Ojobo, representing Ogbadibo Constituency, also said the governor should appear before the house and explain what he meant and why he made the declaration without recourse to the house.

Also supporting the motion, Mr Egli Ahubi (Otukpo Constituency); Mr Avine Agbom (Makurdi North), and Mr B.B Nungwa (Kwande Constituency), praised the mover of the motion, saying that government had placed a total ban on employment yet the wage bills kept increasing.

Nungwa specifically alleged that there must be a cabal benefiting from the increasing wage bill.

However, The House Majority Leader, Mr Benjamin Adernyi (Makurdi South Constituency) said information regarding the IGR and federal allocation should be sought internally from the committee responsible.

Adernyi said the salary problem was inherited but agreed that it was right to demand for explanations.

Ruling, Speaker, Mr Terkimbi Ikyenge, said the house frowned at the committee responsible for over sighting finance for not living up to its responsibilities.

Ikyenge therefore, directed the committee to urgently furnish the house with the income and expenditure of the government.

He also asked the governor to urgently furnish the house with the situation of the state of emergency on salaries.

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