– Nigerian governors said they were working towards paying workers’ salaries
– They however denied report that the president ordered them to pay before Christmas
– They said their promise was hinged on timely payment of Paris Club refund
Governors on the platform of the Nigeria Governors Forum have denied report that President Muhammadu Buhari ordered them to clear salary arrears before Christmas.
The governors met with the president on Monday, November 27 at the Presidential Villa where he approved the payment of the Paris Club fund.
Vanguard reports that the governors in a statement signed by Abulrazque Barkindo, Head, media and public Affairs, said, “No mention of all workers arrears, was ever made, by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
There was report that the president had ordered the governors to pay workers salary before Christmas but they insisted this was not the case.
They quoted Buhari as saying “For Nigerians without sources other than their salary, I am concerned that workers should be able to pay rent, school fees, buy drugs and take care of their families. I am so much concerned that people should have something to eat for Christmas.”
The statement said “The governors had appealed to the president to once again authorize the Finance ministry and the other officials to hasten the payment of the remainder of the Paris and London Club loan refunds as they had factored the monies into their 2018 budgets.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s instruction that the money be paid before Christmas however draws its background from the series of delays in the previous disbursements to the states by the Finance Ministry, which by commission or omission had exacerbated and indeed increased the number of months that workers are owed salaries.
“For example, the first bailout that President Buhari approved was not paid until October, four months after the president had given approval for the money to be paid. It was the same practice with the first tranche of the Paris-London Club repayment, which was approved in mid 2016 but took until December 2016 to hit the states’ accounts.
“It is imperative to add that the Paris–London funds were legitimate funds of the states and not loans as several sources had thought.
“Barring any such happenstances, however, governors, who are equally very worried about their workers’ plights, are ready to wipe away workers tears by paying their emoluments before Christmas.”