There were indications that President Muhammadu Buhari may have turned down a bailout request by state governors owing months in arrears of salaries of workers in their states at the end of a meeting with 36 governors in the presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.
The meeting between President, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the governors, which were speculatively centered on how to offset over N100 billion salaries of Nigerian workers, ended without an offer of a bailout plan by the Federal Government.
TheStreetReporters.com, however, gathered that the governors were only able to reach an agreement that the Federal Government should pay debts it owed the states over jobs executed by the governors in their respective states on behalf of the Federal Government.
Zamfara State Governor, who is the chairman of the Governors Forum, Abdullaziz Yari, while briefing reporters after the meeting, said that instead of a bailout, the state governments were told to look inwards and generate needed funds to clear their debts.
Like in the days of former President Goodluck Jonathan when state states put pressure on his government to share excess crude revenue, the State Governors requested that the Nigerian Liquefied Gas Company’s tax should be paid into the Federation Account and be shared.
They also asked the Federal Government to ensure that monies accruing from the Federation Account should be shared, as stipulated by the constitution.
Being the first time the President will be meeting with the governors to find a solution to the financial crisis that has made no fewer than 22 of the states owe salaries to their workers, the Nigerian Governors began it with their tradition sharing money in the Federation Account.
Other issues in the front burner include how to curb insurgency in Bornu, Yobe and Adamawa states and what the president is doing in collaboration with the international community.
The Governors also expressed concerns over the decision to dismantle military check points, stressing that it was not the right time for such decision.
Some of the governors present include those of Nasarawa, Imo, Gombe, Benue, Delta, Niger, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kogi, Borno, Jigawa, Rivers, Ogun, Kebbi, Kwara, Taraba, Ekiti, Ondo, Kaduna, Oyo, Osun, Edo, Anambra, Sokoto, Ebonyi, Lagos, Adamawa, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Yobe, Plateau (Deputy), Bayelsa (Deputy).
The governors, speaking through their chairman, said they were pleased at the end of the meeting with the President.