State governors have agreed to pay off all salary and pension arrears owed workers with the next tranche of payment of the Paris Club debt refund.
The Head of Media and Public Affairs of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Mr. Abulrazaque Bello-barkindo, said in a statement on Thursday that the state governors arrived at the decision at a meeting convened by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, in Abuja on Thursday night.
He said that the governors held the meeting in expectation of the next tranche of payment of the money already approved for payment by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
He said the governors would receive the money in the month of June.
“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 was quoted as saying.
He said that governors were aware of the widespread criticism of the non-payment of the backlog of salary and pension arrears and the suffering of the Nigerian workers and concluded that the situation of the workers be ameliorated to put the country on the path of growth.
Bello-barkindo recalled that out of the N522.74bn owed states, N388.304bn was paid in December 2016.
He also stated that the NGF had set up a committee under Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State to provide a solution to litigations filed by 10 consultants demanding payment for their roles in the release of the funds.
According to the statement, the committee comprises Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi State; Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State; Plateau State’s Simon Lalong; Bayelsa’s Seriaki Dickson; Rivers’ Nyesom Wike; and a former Accountant General of the Federation and Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo.
Bello-barkindo added that the NGF also resolved to set up a seven-man committee to pursue “reconciliation of the forum and the betterment of the country.”
The committee comprises the governors of Imo, Bayelsa, Abia, Ekiti, Kano, Nasarawa and Bauchi states.