Governors of the 36 states of Nigeria under the umbrella of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have said that they do not need a bailout to end the “salary crisis” in most states, but an
intervention of the federal government to return funds that state governments expended in projects on behalf of the central government.
Speaking with journalists after a meeting with his colleagues in Abuja on Wednesday, Abdulaziz Yari, Zamfara state governor and chairman of the NGF, noted that the economic challenges facing the states were also affecting the government at the centre.
”As we suffer in the states, we observed that the federal government is suffering the same thing,” he said.
“For a bailout, the government needs to have liquidity somewhere. We cannot just ask the government for a bailout. This is sending a very wrong signal that states are in bad shape, but we all know that the economy of the country is in bad shape.
“What we suggest is that many of us (states) are undertaking projects for the federal government; instead of looking for that, let us look for the federal government to settle the backlog for us so that we can move forward.
Nearly all the states are undertaking federal government projects that are not yet settled. If we can get that done, then most of the issues will be settled.”
On Tuesday, though, All Progressives Congress (APC) governors requested a bail-out.
Speaking with journalists after a meeting of the APC governors in Abuja, Rochas Okorocha, Imo state governor and chairman of the forum, said:
“It has become so serious and urgent actions must be taken for a bailout for the states. “States are not getting better either. We sat down to review what steps could be taken. We are calling for overhaul of the system to block all the leakages in our economy.
“We have realised that what we are going through today is as a result of the poor management of our economy in the recent time.
The APC government met a near-empty
treasury. This has become very worrisome, not just for us, but for the entire nation.”
The NGF will meet with President Muhammadu Buhari next week to deliberate on ways of finding solutions to the present economic challenges.