President Muhammadu Buhari has requested state governors to pay at least twenty-five percent of the refunds made to them from excess deductions for external debt service, to be used to settle outstanding workers’ entitlements.
The President made the call as he approved the sum of Five hundred and fifty-two point seven billion naira to be paid in batches to all the states that are owed.
However, the states are expected to receive twenty-five percent of their approved sums in the first instance before the week runs out.
There are about thirty-three states in the bracket.
A statement by his spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, revealed that the refunds arose following the claims by the states that they had been overcharged in deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.
In a directive through the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, President Buhari said that the issue of workers’ benefits, particularly salary and pensions must not be allowed to continue as a national problem and should be tackled with all the urgency that can be summoned.
President Buhari has expressed the opinion all the time that the payment of salaries and pensions must be given priority to save both serving and retired workers and their families from distress.