’Why I Barred London Visit By Govs’
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday directed Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the Finance Minister and Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to speedily release the second tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds to the State estimated at about N500bn.
The refund is part of efforts to rescue the states from imminent collapse and enable them tackle such problems as payment of outstanding salaries and pension arrears to workers. In the South West for example, only Lagos and Ogun states are said to be up-to-date, while Ondo owes seven months arrears of salaries worth N26.6bn; followed by Oyo- five months valued at N26bn; Ekiti, four months – N10.4bn; and Osun, one month- N1.7bn.
The President, who took advantage of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja to meet with the state governors, assured that his administration is poised to address such basic things as payment of workers’ salaries.
In a series of tweets, the President recalled that his “promise to Nigerians is that I will not rest until I address all the issues that affect you,” of which salary payment is a part.
“It is most important that workers are able to feed their families and pay rent and school fees. Extremely important,” he added.
Continuing, President Buhari, who returned to the country on March 10, 2017, tweeted further: “As I’ve said before, pursuing the interest of the Nigerian people is the only way to show my gratitude for the love and support I’ve been shown.”
The President also said he apologized to the governors during the NEC meeting for barring them from paying visits to him while on 51-day medical check-up in London, saying: “I didn’t want government to move to London, I wanted it to remain in Abuja.”