Special Adviser to the Benue State governor on local government and chieftaincy affairs, Solomon Wombo, said yesterday that the state government has no money to pay the minimum wage of primary school teachers.
Wombo, who stated this to newsmen in his office in Makurdi, noted that the salary scale of the teachers in the state "was clearly above the N18, 000 minimum wage hence the government had since implemented the 27.5 percent salary structure."
Recall that the primary school teachers had, last Thursday, embarked on an infinite strike to press for the implementation of the minimum wage by the state government.
However, Wombo said the primary school teachers have no basis to embark on any strike because "government owed them (teachers) no dime
"What the primary school teachers are collecting after the implementation of the 27.5 percent salary increment is clearly above the minimum wage and with the addition in August, they are just slightly below what a memeber of staff at the state government level is collecting. They are not supposed to embark on any strike."
Wombo insisted that "government is not ready to borrow money from anywhere to clear the outstanding salary increment of teachers" and noted that the state would cannot afford to work outside the confines of its available resources.
He opined that the federal government should, as a matter of urgency, "take up the responsibility of paying salaries to primary school teachers to enable the local governments perform optimally."