Cash Crunch: Govs ask FG to Refund Monies Spent On FG Projects


In the face of dire financial crisis affecting most states of the country, the 36 state governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) yesterday asked the federal government to reimburse monies spent by states on federal government projects across the country.

The governors therefore said they will meet with President Muhammadu Buhari next week to seek lasting solutions to the economic challenges confronting the nation.
The governors who ruled out moving for bailouts from the federal government to settle their financial challenges opted instead for the reimbursements on federal projects executed in their respective states.
These were part of the resolutions reached at the second meeting of the NGF in Abuja yesterday.
This comes as the the Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomole, lamented that excess crude fund is depleted to $2.5 billion.
He further canvassed the plugging of economic loopholes in the country and advocated that those who stole government monies should return them.
However, the NGF chairman and governor of Zamfara State, Abdullazeez Yari, who chaired the meeting lamented that Nigeria’s economy is in bad shape, noting that it was responsible for the inability of some states to pay their workers salary.
Yari, who pointed out that the financial crisis in the states was extensively discussed at the meeting noted that some states are being owed N10billion to N20billion. The federal government owes Lagos State over N50billion.
Yari said, “We all know that the economy of the country is in bad shape. So, what we suggested is that a number of state governors have executed various projects for the federal government.

“So, instead of looking for that, let us look for the federal government to settle that backlog for us so that we can be able to move forward. Nearly all the states; you can have N10billion, N20billion, like Lagos more than N50billion federal projects that is not yet settled. So, if we can get that done, then most of the issues can be resolved in earnest.
“And we are trying to see that we find a lasting solution. We are seeing the president to sit down with him. As we are (in) bad (debt), the federal government is also on the same thing because some of the agencies were not paid salaries for six months. It’s not only states.
“So, it’s the problem of the entire nation, not only states. We are going to work in synergy to cross our fingers, meet with the president so that we can get a lasting solution to this problem”.
The states owing workers, according to the labour union include: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers and Zamfara.
The governors also agreed to undertake retreat dedicated exclusively to how states can become more viable and identify means of improving governance.
They further sympathized with the people and states affected by the insurgency in the north east. They also committed to aid them in the process of rebuilding, restructuring and rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons.
Speaking also, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who lamented the economic state of the country, said there is “need to stop the fleecing, stop the stealing, and get those who had stolen to return the money.
“We are surprised that the excess crude fund has dropped to $2.5 billion. How did this happen? No nation makes enough money to feed the greed of its people.
“The issue is not about payment of salary. In Edo State, we are paying. But the issues is not that because even the Bible said the labourer deserves his wage. Nothing justifies the situation in which we find ourselves now.
“A situation where what accrues to the states is less than what is required to pay workers, I think there are a couple of issues. Governors are prepared to assist plug all loop holes. You don’t need to witch hunt anybody, just plug the loopholes.
“The crises we face now, concerning public sector; if we don’t pay contractors, the day they lay off their workers, we have a greater problem.
“We shall speak with Mr. President because he also inheriting huge debt stock and there is no money to do anything.
“So, he also needs our advice. I guess these are issues we need to discuss objectively and see how we get out of it so that never again shall we get to this problem.”


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