Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday raised the alarm that the nation’s economy is in great danger.
The governors further disclosed that they met with President-elect Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the precarious state of the Nigerian economy, contrary to insinuations that they held the meeting to nominate candidates for Buhari’s cabinet.
The Chairman of the APC Governors forum and Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, who briefed reporters at the end of the meeting that held at the Defence House Abuja, said the country’s economy is in such bad shape that no state has been able to pay salaries of its workers.
“As it stands today, most states of the federation have not been able to pay salaries, even the Federal Government has not been able to pay their April salary, and that is worrisome.
“By May /June, that will be three months and with the huge expectations of the people who voted for us into office, we are hoping that the president-elect will do all that is humanly possible to bring a bail out not only on the states, but the Federal Government as well.”
Okorocha also said the APC governors have seen a reason to work together with Buhari in order to bring about the change that Nigerians are yearning for.
“We also call on our brothers in the other parties to join us to build the Nigeria of our dreams.”
The Imo governor also said they came as a group to formally congratulate Mr. Buhari for a “well deserved victory” in the presidential election which held on March 28.
On the rumoured submission of ministerial nominees to the President-elect, Mr. Okorocha simply remarked that it was “too early in the day” to do that.
He said the names would be submitted as “soon as necessary”.
Speaking during the meeting, Buhari, told the APC governors-elect, that the expectation of Nigerians was too high hence the need to sensitise all to set realistic targets.
He also lamented the poor state of the economy which has made it difficult for both the federal and state governments to meet their obligations to workers.
The President-elect was responding to pleas by the incoming governors for him to prepare a sort of bail out for states to enable them pay salaries.
“The expectation is too high and I have started nervously to explain to people that Rome was not built in a day.”
According to him, it is sad that the nation is grappling with security challenges while the economy is lying prostrate with most states unable to pay salaries in spite of the revenue we earned from 1990 till date.
“For this to be corrected, please give the incoming government a chance. Here, I will like to recall what happened during the Abacha regime which led to the emergence of PTF.”
The former military ruler recalled that, “The Abacha regime was a military regime and it thought that the only way was to increase the prices of petroleum products, but they were not taking Nigerians for a ride.