President Muhammadu Buhari has charged state governors to seek efficient ways to settle unpaid workers’ salaries in their states, and asked governments at all levels to be more prudent in the management of their resources.
He gave the advice during the formal inauguration of the National Economic Council (NEC) held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Many of the state governments have been hit by cash crunch and are owe huge workers’ salaries, among other indebtedness.
He urged state governors to look inward in order to boost their internally generated revenue (IGR) to supplement income from the Federation Account.
“Your Excellencies, it is evident that the task of ensuring growth, job creation and equity is quite enormous. Consequently, we must kick-start this process by cultivating a culture of prudent management of resources at all levels of government.
“This will entail looking inwards to secure sustainable ways of increasing internally generated revenue (IGR), and harnessing growth potentials of each state to supplement the Federation Account allocation to states.
“I, therefore, urge council members to consider, as a matter of urgency, exploring efficient means of gradually liquidating all unpaid salaries of staff, which have brought untold hardship to thousands of families.”
The president also tasked the states to embark on projects that will meet immediate needs of the people within available resources.
Buhari harped on the need for neighbouring states to cooperate closely on projects like interstate and feeder roads, soil erosion, desertification and other developmental programmes.
“I would like also, as a former governor myself, to remind us of the need for neighbouring states to cooperate closely on projects such as interstate and feeder roads, soil erosion, desertification and other developmental programmes,” he stated.
The president said that efforts should be made to distance politics from developmental programmes.
“Our country is one and we who have the responsibility to run it should lead by example. As far as is possible there should be distance between politics and developmental programmes,” he added.
He promised that the Federal Government, on its part, would ensure more accountability, transparency and integrity in the distribution of the Federation Account as it will abide by the provisions of Sections 80 and 162 of the constitution.
“All revenue generating agencies such as Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), amongst others, shall comply with stipulated financial regulations and administrative instructions in their remittances into the consolidated revenue fund.”
The president also stated that he will forward the cost implication of the damage caused by Islamist sect Boko Haram on three North Eastern states in the country.
“I am happy to reiterate that following my invitation to Germany early this month by the G7 Nations who have shown concern about the insurgency and has promised to intervene to restore the destroyed infrastructure, schools and hospitals, amongst others.
“I have directed the front line states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa to articulate realistic assessments, costs locations on local government by local government of affected facilities for submission to the president of the G7 for further verification.
“In addition, the requirements of the military have been prepared by the service chiefs for the consideration of the G7 Nations.
“On insurgency, the Nigerian armed forces have shown renewed commitment and made steady progress in the fight against Boko Haram.
“Nigeria, under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the Republic of Benin is collaborating with the Republics of Niger, Chad, Cameroun and Benin to consolidate cross-border and international efforts at eradicating the insurgency.”