Bailout: Reckless Governors should expect more trouble – Yari

By Joshua Amaugo July 30, 2015 13:47

Bailout: Reckless Governors should expect more trouble – Yari

The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, and Governor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari has accused his fellow Governors of recklessness while suggesting that there was more trouble just ahead.

Speaking to journalists at the State House Yari after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said despite the bailout from the Federal Government more States may be unable to pay salaries as the Governors were careless in their management of state resources.

This situation according to him spelt nothing but doom.

President Muhammadu Buhari had approved an intervention package to help bankrupt States pay outstanding workers’ salaries which came from the $2.1 billion dividend paid to the Federation Account by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company, NLNG.

The other measure adopted by the President on the issue, was a Central Bank-packaged special intervention fund that was meant to help prop up the States, ranging from N250 billion to N300 billion in soft loans to enable the payment of salaries.

The NGF Chairman disclosed some indebted State Governments had already lost their bailout money to servicing outstanding loans they had obtained from banks.

He noted that most of his colleagues dodged the bailout issue because of its sinister meaning.

    “Now if states are in trouble we all agreed since some states cannot pay salaries and the Federal Government says they are going to make some kind of adjustment to states to get out their problems and you call it intervention, it is still okay.

    “But the reason why I think so many governors don’t talk about the issue of bailout is because they are thinking as if money is going to be created for Governments or for Governors to go and continue as they were somehow reckless.

    “So, we have a problem and there are no two ways about it. The Federal Government has to come to the rescue of the states or else, we will have failed states.

    “The Federal Government wants to give bailout to states because of the situation. But the way people have been talking about it. Of course, the bailout is in the works and the bailout can be made in the banking sector and bailout has been made in the downstream sector of the economy.”

Yari revealed that certain Governors were panicking because the Federal Government intervention funds could go to the banks who could reclaim their debts before releasing the rest.

    “What I am saying is that no money has been released yet but I think the NLNG fund that was given to some states was taken by banks because it was due for them to repay some loans which they had been unable to do.

    “Some Governors reported that money went into their accounts before it was taken by some banks because of their outstanding loans.”

Meanwhile, the West Africa Examinations Council, WAEC has threatened to withhold the results of thousands of students from 19 states who participated in the May/June 2015 WASSCE over non-payment of candidates’ registration fees by their State Governments.

Charles Eguridu, the Head of National Office, HNO, WAEC, Yaba Lagos who spoke in dismay said “The affected states should off-set the registration fees of their candidates as soon as possible, as we cannot guarantee that the results of their candidates for the May/June 2015 WASSCE will be released alongside others.”

He pointed out a total of 19 states in the country owed the Council due to the entry fees for State Government-sponsored candidates for the May/June 2015 WASSCE.

Eguridu also said he was disappointed over the nonchalant attitude of States towards payment of debt which amounts to N4 billion, adding WAEC’s efforts to make them pay remained futile which informed the decision to go public.

The NGF Chairman in reaction said, “We are in trouble, but I think it’s something that we will discuss with some of the Governors concerned and WAEC to avert a future occurrence because of the future of our children.”