President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday implored governors who are owing workers and pensioners months of salary arrears to pay up to ameliorate their suffering.
Buhari, who spoke at a meeting with members of the National Council of Traditional Rulers at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, said he was unhappy at the manner some governors spent the Paris Club refund.
The Federal government has released over N243 billion to states from the refund of over-deductions on Paris Club, London Club Loans and Multilateral debts between 1995-2002.
Buhari frowned at the inability of the affected state governments to pay the retirement benefits and outstanding salaries of workers with the payment of the refund, the Vanguard writes.
“We have to digress this much because I would like to convince you that I’m living with the problems of this country day-by-day, and mostly those of the ordinary people.
“There are Nigerians that haven’t been paid for six months; there are Nigerians that have not been paid their retirement benefits for years.
“I’m appealing to the governors, (that was why we voted money, we borrowed money), please make sure anybody under you, pay them because most of them depend on that salary to pay rent, school fees,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Buhari said he was happy that the country would be witnessing bumper harvest across the country, this year. He said the bumper harvest was as a result of improved rainfall across the country.
“We are lucky, last year and this year, the rainy season was good. If it were not good, I’m confiding in you, which country shall I run to? But God answered the prayers of most Nigerians.
“The rainy season last year was good, this year, from the reports I’m getting, it is good. We thank God for that, only God can do that for us otherwise there would have been lot of problems in this country.