President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a bailout for Nigerian states, many of which have not been able to pay workers salaries for months.
According to Vanguard sources, President Buhari approved a three-pronged relief package including sharing of fresh allocations, granting of soft loans and restructuring of states’ debt-servicing payments. The packages are expected to go into effect this week.
The relief package also includes a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-packaged special intervention fund that will offer financing to the states, ranging from between N250bn and N300bn. This would be a soft loan that states could access to pay the backlog of salaries.
The federal government will also implement a debt relief programme proposed by the Debt Management Office (DMO), which will help states restructure their commercial loans currently put at more than N660bn, and extend the life span of such loans while reducing their debt-servicing expenditures.
Also, a total of N391 billion from the Excess Crude Account, ECA, will be shared among the three tiers of government, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, disclosed yesterday.
With the N413.7 billion LNG proceeds it means the three tiers of government will share a total of N804.7 billion.
Sources explained that this package, which was considered at the National Economic Council, NEC, last week, is designed specifically for workers, adding that President Buhari reviewed and approved the package in his bid to intervene and alleviate the sufferings of workers, some of whom have not been paid for over 10 months.
Contacted, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina confirmed the development, adding that the President is deeply concerned about the plight of the workers.