The 36 governors of Nigeria have resolved to offset workers’ outstanding salaries and pensions in their states as soon as the next tranche of payment from the Paris-London Club loan refunds are made.
The agreement was made known in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja by Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, who doubles as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), after their meeting.
“We all agreed that a substantial amount from the next tranche of the Paris-London refunds be used in the settlement of workers salary and pension arrears,” Yari said, in a statement issued by Mr Abulrazque Barkindo, Head of Media and Public Affairs, NGF Secretariat.
It is understood that the governors met in anticipation of the release of the money, which had been approved for payment by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
Out of the N522.74 billion owed, N388.304 was paid to states in December, 2016.
Yari said that the governors were not oblivious of the hue and cry over non-payment of backlog of salaries and pensions, and the precarious predicament of the Nigerian workers.
He said that the governors deliberated on the matter and concluded that something immediate must be done to ameliorate workers’ plight by offsetting the outstanding pay and emoluments.
This, according to him, made the governors to resolve as a matter of urgency, to pay workers their due as soon as the half of the Paris Club refunds is made.
He added that the governors were also committed to the verification of the input of all the consultants, who claimed to have worked towards the harmonization of the refunds.