Jumai2

Jumai

Ad1

Ad2

My Top Naija Mix

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Christmas: Buhari advises governors to clear workers’ salaries

President Muhammadu Buhari on IPOB

President Muhammadu Buhari  yesterday advised governors to clear workers’ outstanding salaries before Christmas.

He also approved payment of 50% Paris Club refund.
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha and Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai broke the news to reporters at the end of the governors’ meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Okorocha said: “It was a brief meeting between the governors and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The President has expressed the need to ensure that every Nigerian, especially the workers has a beautiful Christmas and the issue of outstanding Paris Club was discussed and that was taken care of, to ensure that workers in various states and everywhere in the country get to celebrate the Christmas.
”We also used the opportunity to review our working relationship with the President from the states and we found out that we are in harmony. There is no difference between us and the president. Everybody seems to be happy working together. But, particularly, we commended the president for getting Nigeria out of recession within such a short time. We commended Mr. President and everybody left quite happy.
”We are looking at getting the balance of Paris Club refund thrashed out once and for all. We also made a request for Mr. President’s approval 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.
”It was emphasised that states and federal governments must work together to get Nigeria out of its present economic predicament to make Nigeria a better society for all of us.”
Asked if all salary arrears will be cleared before Christmas, Okorocha replied: “Yes, with the Paris Club coming, every worker should enjoy his/her Christmas. I made it clear.”
El-Rufai explained that what the President approved to pay workers before Christmas is the balance of the first 50% Paris Club refund.
The states have so far received N516 billion in two tranches as Paris Club refund.
He said: “Let me explain. The Paris Club figures need to be reconciled. While the reconciliation process was going on, the President approved that 50 per cent of the original amount be paid to the states. The payment started from last year. We still have the balance of the first 50 per cent. This is what the President said should be paid to state governments to meet their obligations before Christmas because he’s concerned that many families depend solely on their salaries for rent, for the festive period.
”That has been decided. The balance of the first 50 per cent is what we are expecting now before Christmas. The President has approved that and said it must be paid.”
Asked to give the amount just approved, he said “I don’t know the amount. I’m sure that if you contact the Ministry of Finance, they can give you the total amount. I only know what my state is likely to get.
“There is another 50 per cent that needs to be paid when the figures are reconciled. The reconciliation is going to be concluded before the end of the year. The Chief of Staff to the President will ensure that the committee working on the reconciliation will conclude the work before the end of the year.
“So, what the governors are requesting from the President is a directive – ‘go ahead to include the next 50 per cent in your 2018 budget and that is going to be looked at.’
“Every state will get its own share of the Paris-Club refund. It will not get more. Every state has a specific amount that was deducted. That amount may be enough to cover the arrears; it may not be, because you cannot get more than you are entitled to. It varies from state to state.
“My state has no salary arrears at all. So, it’s a mute issue. Kano doesn’t have salary arrears. Whatever we are getting, we just continue with our development projects. Some states have salary arrears that are bigger than the Paris Club refund they are getting. Even when they get it, they will not be able to clear the salary arrears. But it is better to reduce it so that people will have happier Christmas.”

No comments:

Post a Comment