BY PETER DURU, MAKURDI
Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has slashed his salary by 25 percent and also proposed a five percent cut in the salaries of civil servants to enable the government meet the demands of striking primary school teachers.
Suswam, who made this known, yesterday, after swearing in two newly appointed members of the state executive council, in Makurdi the state capital, said the new policy would effect only officers on levels seven and above.
The governor, who disclosed that all political appointees would also forfeit 25 percent of their salaries, urged workers to support the decision of government in the interest of children of the state who had been at home for close to six months.
Suswam gave an explicit picture of the increments and adjustments he effected in the salaries of civil servants in the state which, according to him, ranked them among the highest paid in the country. He observed that between 2006 to 2011, the least paid worker in Benue enjoyed three successive salary adjustments which led to over 240 percent payrise amounting to N18,000 monthly pay as against N5,000 before the advent of his administration.
”Same benefits were extended to permanent secretaries; who before the advent of this administration took home N73,458 monthly but now earn N436, 784, amounting to over 585 percent increment.