Governors Give Condition Before Paying Salary Arrears By Christmas

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The Governors of the 36 states in the country have given their condition to obey the directive issued by the Nigerian President demanding that they pay all outstanding salaries before Christmas.

The governors after a meeting came up with a condition to be met before abiding by the directive issued by the Nigerian president.

The condition given by the state governors was revealed by the Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, while briefing State House correspondents after the governors held a closed-door meeting with the president inside the council chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Okorocha while giving the details of the meeting and the demand made by the governors forum stated that the payment of salary arrears as demanded by the President is dependent on the president’s approval of the payment of the 50 per cent Paris Club loan refund.

He said: “Yes, with the Paris Club coming, every worker should enjoy his/her Christmas.”

Okorocha further added: “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.”

He further added that the meeting revolved around the release of the balance of the Paris Club refund 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.”

Speaking also after the meeting, the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai said: “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 what 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 than not.”
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