REVEALED: Details on why18 States owe salaries

By Ayoola Mudasiru June 16, 2015 12:30

REVEALED: Details on why18 States owe salaries

It has been revealed that eighteen out of the thirty-six States of the federation are technically bankrupt. This is because they have mortgaged their federation account allocations to contractors, signing irrevocable payment orders with various banks. Thus, payment to contractors and other debt instruments are deducted at source and have become first line charge on their lean resources.

The internally generated revenues of these States are also not enough to meet their obligations so they owe workers several months of unpaid salaries.

The States owing workers, according to the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers and Zamfara

The above are some of the reasons political and economic analysts have given to rationalize why about eighteen States of Nigeria cannot pay their workers, some up to eleven months.

However, apart from Ekiti, Ondo, and Osun, all other States held governorship elections. During the election periods, campaign materials and rallies were funded. This is besides the cost of aspirant forms and contributions towards the Presidential campaign.

It can be recalled how former Governor Rotimi Amaechi was accused of depleting Rivers State treasury, including selling off of State assets just to fund the All Progressives Congress, APC, and President Muhammadu Buhari campaigns.

Also, recall that former Governor Rochas Okorocha, apart from buying the APC presidential aspirant form for N27 million, also invested in lobbying delegates to secure the nomination.

After he lost, he still went to invest in getting the governorship form.

Both Okorocha and Amaechi did these while still owing workers’ salaries.

Rivers and Imo are just two examples out of the eighteen States that have continued to run and function whilst owing workers salaries.

These State Governors, especially incumbents that returned, are morally obliged to explain to State workers, how they were able to fund their campaigns if they claim that their States were bankrupt.

They should also explain what they do with their monthly allocations gotten from the Federal Government. As former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said, States were expected to prioritize payments of salaries.

Governors like Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who have admitted to the problem being beyond their control, are now being called upon, to bite the bullet and resign.

Workers and Contractors in Osun, and several of the 18 States, have died in the hardship of being owed over seven months of salaries.

The new APC and Buhari-led Federal Government, knew the state of the economy during their clamour for power, so it would be foolish of them to keep blaming the outgone Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Goodluck Jonathan administration for the continued crises.

Change was promised, and Nigerians are expecting change. Over two weeks since the new administrations were inaugurated and Nigeria have been left in a state of limbo, as no economic policy direction has been given by the Buhari Government.