From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau Commissioner of information and Communication, Hon. Dan Manjang says the Governor Simon Lalong administration will continue with payment of salaries of civil servants, pensioners and other emoluments to boost the economy of the state.
The Lalong government has prioritised payment of salaries and pensions since it came on board in 2015 to make life easier for Plateau people, Manjang told Journalists on Friday.
The State according to him was ready to implement the new minimum wage when the global COVID19 pandemic emerged.
“When we talk about payment of salary, some people say it is not achievement and I asked, if payment of salary is not an achievement, what is lack of payment of salary that was witness during the previous administration.
“The minimum resources that circulates in Plateau every month is between N2billion and N2.5 billion as emoluments of civil servants and pensioners and that has boost and sustained the economy of the state.
“We have continue to pay salary as at when due including the 7-9 months of salary arrears inherited from previous administration. We were about to pay the new minimum wage when COVID19 pandemic break out, we suspended it in collaboration with labour and we will resume when the situation improve.”
Manjang explained that the spike in COVID19 infection in the state was as a result of high level of testing, particularly at the community level in the state.
“There is Increase in community testing for the disease as Plateau State has 3 testing Centres; one at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) Vom, Plateau Specialist Hospital and Jos University Teaching Hospital.”
He noted that Governor Lalong directed all civil servants in the state to embark on compulsory COVID19 test, which most communities in the state including communities under Vwang District took parts as directed by their traditional rulers which gave raised to the figure in the country.
He said the state regretted to have recorded 29 deaths and expressed determination of the Lalong administration in combating the scourge in the state.
Manjang said the state has cut the cost of governance and reduced allowances of political office holders by 40 percent to sustain the state’s economy.
“In the 2020 revised budget, Government has earmarked 11 billion naira for COVID-19 related expenditure. Right now, we spend about ten thousand naira for each test and also treat those infected free,” said the Commissioner.