Following a meeting of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, all the states governors in Nigeria have denied collecting any federal bailout from President Buhari or asking him for help to help bankrupt states clear backlog of workers’ salaries.
NGF chairman and governor of Zamfara State, Abduaziz Yari, told reporters after the meeting that what was recently given to states was never a federal bailout, but dividends paid by the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG).
“What had been shared last time was monies from NLNG and FAAC,” Yari maintained. “And as we have been saying, we have not been looking for bailout; instead, we have been looking for all monies that are in the coffers of the federation, most especially…some of the monies…[in] the coffers of government to be brought together for the purpose of sharing.”
But this appears to contradict what the governors had disclosed to the media following President Buhari’s inauguration in government – following which several governors held several meetings intimating the president of the dire financial situation prevalent in many states.
“We are not taking any bailout from the federal government and the federal government did not give us any bailout yet,” Yari insisted. “But we are talking on how best the intervention will happen within these days so we will be able to settle the issue of salaries and other operations in government in the country.”
Yari revealed that the purpose of the Wednesday meeting was to brainstorm on how to help President Buhari navigate the turbulent economic situation in the country while charting progressive policy direction that would boost economic growth and increase domestic generation of wealth.
Gov. Yari said the governors agreed “to discuss with Mr. President to seek lasting solutions to the worsening macroeconomic challenges confronting the nation, especially on foreign exchange stability. To work with Mr. President to ensure coherent policy actions that will create a clear policy direction for the country and stimulate domestic production.”