The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has accused a “powerful cabal” of milking the state through huge wage bill.
Ortom made his position known through Tahav Agerzua, his Special Adviser on Media and ICT.
He said the “powerful cabal” was behind the increasing wage bill of the state.
“The cabal manufactures and manipulates figures to milk Benue dry,” Agerzua said on Wednesday in Makurdi, when he appeared at a Forum of the News Agency of Nigeria.
Agerzua regretted that the cabal was living in affluence at the detriment of the state, but assured Benue State citizens that that government would soon smash the syndicate and prosecute those behind it.
He said: “The state government is worried as to why the wage bill keeps rising instead of coming down, in spite of deaths and retirements in the service.
“Series of measures have been put in place to address this issue, including biometric data capturing and salary verification exercise.
“We think that there is a cabal that is milking the state and feeding on the salary wage bill, but let me tell you, the Commissioner of Finance is going to address the press on this matter.”
Agerzua said the commissioner would also disclose the findings of the various committees on the matter.
On the disparity in the payment of salaries, he said allocations from the Federal Government to the state and local governments were remitted at different times.
Agerzua stated that the state’s wage bill had risen from N5 billion in less than two years to N7.8 billion.
The aide said that, the governor was determined to instill accountability and the rule of law.
He declared that Ortom had zero tolerance for corruption and would spare no one found culpable.