The waves of joy that greeted so many workers with news that the president had released funds, the Paris Club funds, to offset their pending allowances for both government workers and pensioners have now turned into wails and heartaches after the Federal Government called for an immediate refund.
Governor Samuel Ortom had on Monday, September 24, directed the state’s ministry of finance to commence immediate disbursement of the funds to workers before the funds were recalled.
When the news broke on Tuesday, September 25, about the federal government recalling the N14.9 billion final tranche of the Paris Club debt already paid to the state, some of the workers in Benue state slumped at the state secretariat, and had to be revived by their colleagues.
Benue civil servants who are being owed seven-month salaries while local government workers and pensioners are owed 11 and 15 months, respectively. One staff said, “My joy knew no bounds when I first heard the news of the release of the funds to the state government. Then, I felt all my financial problems were over and I would be able to pay my debts. You can now see why I am uncontrollably angry at the news of the recall of the funds.”