We Borrow to Pay Teachers- Suswam
Benue State Government has said that it borrowed monies last month from several sources to pay its workers including striking primary school teachers who have down tools for over a month protesting the non implementation of minimum wage.
According to Governor Gabriel Suswam who spoke yesterday at his 49th birthday anniversary lecture held in his honour in Makurdi the Benue State capital, the state government spends over N3billion monthly on the payment of local government staff and teachers but said despite the concerted affords to ensure that every teacher in the state doesn't earn less than 18,000 as salary, 'we are still faced with agitations by the teachers'.
'It is just sad that people fail to understand that the N18,000minimum wage as prescribed by the federal government is only a threshold upon which we must build on. But all we have done is to ensure that no government employee earns less than the minimum wage and in doing that, we over stretched our self retorting to us borrowing to pay staff.
'As at today, we expend a little over N3billion monthly, on the payment of local government staff and teachers' salaries with little left for anyone to embark on any meaningful development project at that level of governance.
'I only want to appeal to the striking teachers to return to the classrooms in the interest of our children; because we cannot afford to have our children out of the universities and the primary schools at the same time.