President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to immediately release the second tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds to the states to ease their financial difficulties.
Buhari gave the order at the meeting of the national economic council chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja on Thursday, his media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, said in a statement.
The directive is coming regardless of allegations that some state governors diverted the first tranche of London-Paris Club refunds which was released to the states last year to enable them offset the salary arrears of their workers.
“I will not rest until I address those issues that affect our people. One of these basic things is the issue of salaries. It is most important that workers are able to feed their families, pay rent and school fees, then other things can follow,” Buhari was quoted as saying.
The president, who was also said to have thanked the governors for their display of “love and respect” for him, added that he was overwhelmed by their kindness, particularly for shelving their political differences and tasking their citizens to pray for him in mosques and churches while he was on medical vacation in London.
It was gathered that he apologised to the governors for barring them from visiting him when he was in London, just as the governors were also said to have advised him to take more days off to get adequate rest.
“I didn’t want government to move to London. I wanted it to remain here and I am glad it did,” he said.