President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to meet with governors of the 36 states of Nigeria tomorrow. The meeting is aimed at urging the president to intervene in the inability of some states to pay workers’ salaries. It is also expected to focus on the modality of sourcing funds to enable them settle the debts owed their workers.
“The President has graciously accepted our overtures to him to help us,” Vanguard quoted a top government official of one of the affected states to have said.
“Some of us owe workers over nine months salary arrears and this has brought activities in the public service to a standstill. We hope the President helps this time.”
At the end of the meeting, a solution to the problem of unpaid salaries is expected to have been found.
About 18 states in Nigeria owe their workers salaries of between three to seven months. While they have blamed their inability to pay on reduced allocation from the federal government (hit by a fall in revenue due to the prices of oil), some Nigerians have opined that the states unable to pay show that they have been profligate in spending as the reduction in allocation affected all 36 states of Nigeria.
A senator, Ben Murray-Bruce had advised the federal government to pay the workers and deduct the money from the allocations of the affected states.
I am deeply sad some state workers have not been paid for over 10 months. I think FG should pay them and collect the money back at source.
— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) June 11, 2015
But the states are asking for a bailout. It remains to be seen whether the president will demand accountability from the governors, on the use of their resources in the past, or just provide funds to offset the salary arrears.