Yesterday, President Buhari had a meeting with the 36 state governors and he gave them an order to pay up salary arrears to their workers before the Christmas holiday. To ensure that this is actualized, President Buhari also asked the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, her counterpart at the Ministry of Budget and National planning, Udoma Udo Udoma and the Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, to commence negotiations with the Governors Forum to enable payment of outstanding Paris & London Club refunds, before the end of the year.
Reacting to the order issued by President Buhari, chairman of the Nigeria governors forum and Imo state governor, Rochas okorocha who spoke on behalf of other governors after the meeting in Abuja, said the order can only be obeyed if President Buhari approves the payment of the 50% Paris Club loan refund.
“Yes, with the Paris Club coming, every worker should enjoy his/her Christmas. The president has expressed the need to make ensure that every Nigerian especially the workers have a beautiful Christmas and the issue of outstanding Paris club was discussed and that was taken care of.”
Speaking further, Governor Okorocha said the governors put pressure on President Buhari to get approval for the balance so that governors can make adequate appropriation arrangements.
“We also made a request for Mr. President’s approval so that the balance should form part of our 2018 budget, because we can’t include it, until we are sure that the money is coming. That was also sorted out. So, as it is now, the issue of workers took the centre stage and Mr. President was concerned about those who depend on their salaries to feed their families and pay their house rent and he had the assurance from the governors that we will meet up those obligations”, he said.