BENUE State Government is set to clear the salary arrears owed workers in the state.
The state government had on Monday began payment of two months salary arrears owed its workers.
Giving the assurance yesterday in Makurdi, the state Commissioner of Finance, David Olofu said that the government was planning to adopt a Debt Sustainability Strategy (DSS) in tackling the salary challenges.
The Finance Commissioner who spoke to newsmen in his office said that the framework for the plan was ready and awaiting the Governor’s approval.
He said that government had fulfilled the promise made at the weekend with the payment of two months salary arrears to its workers.
While assuring the government’s desire to defray the five months salary arrears to its workers, Olofu said that the state would continue to seek ways of sourcing for funds to completely clear the outstanding salary.
“This salary issue is the biggest challenge facing this government. I have even requested the World Bank Technical team to assist in this regard. I believe the solution should be technology driven and followed up systematically.
“Let me also tell you that the state is coming out with a better way to solve the salary problem by coming out with Debt Sustainability Strategy to see how we can reduce the outstanding balance, we have informed the governor and has asked us to come out with framework which we have done and the proposal will soon be given to him.”
The Commissioner added that over 228 million dollars was supposed to be remitted to the state, ‘but so far, what we have gotten is 157 million dollars.’
“The federal Ministry of Finance have done their reconciliation and this is what is supposedly due to us. But on our side, we will engage the consultants to know the exact remittance to us. For us, we will still be expecting another tranche”, Olofu said.
Olofu also said that government is exploring ways of eliminating ghost workers from the civil service system.