Nigerians React To Buhari’s Approval Of Fund To Bail Out States
Nigerians have begun to react to the approval by President Muhammadu Buhari to enable states owing salaries running into billions of naira to pay their workers.
The three-pronged relief package including sharing of fresh allocations, granting of soft loans and restructuring of states’ debt-servicing payments was reviewed and approved the package in his bid to intervene and alleviate the sufferings of workers, some of whom have not been paid for over 10 months.
Speaking on the development, legal luminary, Professor Sagay, described the bail out as a welcome development, saying: “Since they are owing salaries and all states have a share in the excess crude oil account and because they are in a desperate situation, I think it is a welcome decision.”
The legal icon, however, dismissed the notion that the bailout is a sign of weakness on the part of the President.
“People believe in extremism but to be strong does not mean that you have to be extreme. It does not mean that you have to lack any feelings for people. He (Buhari) must be thinking of thousands of workers, who have not been paid for six months.”
On his part, Professor Pat Utomi said the bailout for states is imperative for the economic survival of the country. His words:
“It is important to recognize that without such bailout, the economy will be in danger as there will be no spending going on while those offering services will be unable to offer anything. The bailout is very important for the economy.”
Besides, he said “this development should now make government impose conditionality that will stop mismanagement and unnecessary spendings”.
Also the Labour Party, which accused the state governors of allegedly mismanaging resources meant to run the states, advised that the bailout funds must be judiciously spent.
LP National Secretary, Dr Kayode Ajulo, said: “Priority needs to be set right on the granting and usage of the bail out. It is unfortunate that governors, most of whom operate flamboyantly and mismanaged their states’ resources are begging for bailout. Salaries have to be paid, therefore the bailout must come with a condition that the money must be used to offset the unpaid salaries.”
The LP scribe noted that “I say this knowing the antics of some of our governors as we should not be surprised that some of them may commit the money to another white elephant project or buy private jets which is the latest vogue among them. Greek was given conditions when she asked for bail out from the European Union and I see nothing wrong in setting a condition for the bail out as there must be an end to the prevalence of financial indiscipline among our state executive.”