President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Finance, Kemi
Adeosun, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin
Emefiele, to act with dispatch in releasing the second tranche of the
London-Paris Club refunds to the states in order to ease their
financial hardships.
The president, who addressed the meeting of the National Economic
Council made up of state governors and chaired by the Vice-President
on Thursday in Abuja, however, made a strong case for settlement of
unpaid salaries and pension liabilities of 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,” he said, according to a
statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
The president said he was overwhelmed by his recent experience in
which states, irrespective of political differences charged their
citizens to pray in mosques and churches for his well-being, and
apologised to governors for barring them from visits to him while he
rested in London.
“I didn’t want government to move to London. I wanted it to remain
here and I am glad it did,” he said.
After narrating what he went through while on that vacation, President
Buhari noted the suggestion by the governors for him to add more rest,
but insisted that he would remain relentless in the pursuit of the
interest of the Nigerian people at all times.
This, according to him, was the only way to show his gratitude to the
people who, he said, “had given so much to me. I was overwhelmed by
the celebration of my return all across the country.”
The chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Abdul-Aziz Yari of
Zamfara State, assured the president, on behalf of his colleagues,
that they will continue to support his policies and actions which they
had adjudged as being in the nation’s best interest.
The governors of Imo, Akwa-Ibom, Osun and Abia States thanked
President Buhari for saving the day for states through the first
tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds while calling for the
immediate release of the second one.