The Deputy Governor-elect of Benue, Mr Sam Ode, has said that the All Progressives Congress( APC) led government in the state would create an enabling environment and opportunities for residents of the state to thrive.
Ode stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after a visit by a delegation from a Support Group, Alia Alliance World Wide in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said that to achieve this, the administration would declare an emergency on the payment of outstanding salaries and pensions of civil servants in the state.
Ode said that because of the importance of wages to the well-being of the workforce, the government intends to clear all arrears of pensions and salaries.
“We also cannot say that the payment of salaries is an achievement but it is a stepping stone to doing more,”he said.
Ode, who is a former Minister of State for Niger Delta, said that the move would also serve as motivation for service delivery in the state’s civil service.
“The civil service remains the engine of every society, we will ensure that the civil service is functional before other things could come up.
“We are not taking the opportunity being given to us by the Benue people for granted.
“Even the holy Bible tells us that every worker is worthy of his wages, when anyone works, his wages should be paid. It is not questionable.
“It is our intention to clear the backlog of salaries and wages. We know that pensioners are suffering and we want to halt that trend.
“If people will work after 35 years and they cannot be guaranteed of their pension, it means that the motivation to put in their best on the job will not be there.
“We will declare an emergency on the outstanding pensions, salaries of local government and state workers,” he said.
Ode said that as a deputy, he was in the shadow of his principal, adding that they would not rest until outstanding salaries, pension and gratuities of workers are paid.
“I am very sure that with the assumption of office on May 29, the outstanding salaries, pensions and gratuities will be settled,“ he said.
He said that the security and welfare of the people would also be a priority to their government.
The deputy governor-elect said measures would be put in place to curb insecurity and enhance growth in the state.
He also said the new administration intends to improve the facility of the education of Benue children.
”The average girl or boy is brilliant, what they are looking for is a good and conducive environment to study.”
He thanked the group for their support and urged them to set up a platform for the government to take off.
“Develop a new structure for the government to take off, plan ,organise retreats for elected members for good governance.
“I remain hopeful in any group, association that will produce and create avenues for peace and economic growth of the state. We will not take your trust for granted,” he said.
Mr Kelvins Dzeremo and Mr Kenneth Gyado who led the delegation, urged the deputy governor-elect to work harmoniously with the governor- elect to continue to win the trust of the people.
They promised to support the new government to achieve positive reforms in the state.