Presidential candidate of Nigeria's leading opposition All Progressive Congress, Mohammadu Buhari, meets with US Secretary of State at the US Consulate in Lagos January 25, 2015. US Secretary of State John Kerry said today that peaceful and timely elections were vital in Nigeria, where the country is battling a deadly insurgency by Boko Haram. AFP PHOTO / POOL / AKINTUNDE AKINLEYE

Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, JNPSNC, has joined in commending President Muhammadu Buhari on the timely bailout relief of N413.7bn aimed at clearing backlog of salaries owed workersby state governments.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja, National Chairman of JNPSNC, Mr. Kiri Mohammed, urged all the relevant stakeholders to initiate strict monitoring of the disbursement of the fund, in order to prevent various state governors from diverting the money from the original purpose.
“The JNPSNC wish to commend and applaud the directive of Mr. President to state governors, to as a matter of priority, liquidate the unpaid salaries of workers across the country. This statement is the most responsible statement ever made by a sitting Federal Government of Nigeria in recent past.
“We must add that same will go a long way to rekindle’s commitment and consciousness of workers to redouble efforts at rebuilding Nigeria’s battered economy. In the end, the disbursement of this fund must be monitored to ensure that it is not diverted its original from purpose’’.
He noted that Nigerian workers have been groaning over the non-payment of salaries by their states and Local Government employers. No doubt, the situation became excruciating so much that workers in the affected states are being owed up to ten months, and in some local government, run into two digits.
“Not less than 12 states, out of the 36 states of the federation are known to be defaulting, with 10 of them owing a cumulative sum of N10 billion. The states particularly fingered are Benue, Osun, Plateau, Rivers, Oyo, Ekiti, Kogi, Ondo, Bauchi and Kwara”
The labour leader said that the released of the approximately N713 billion has placed the present administration as the most responsible government in recent times, stressing that the lingering crisis of unpaid salaries should be considered as the worst omen of a failed state.
The JNPSNC chairman, who is a Deputy President of NLC, called on President Buhari to stand firm and exercise his authority in order to root out corruption which has eaten deep into the life of Nigeria as a nation, encouraging the President not allow his detractors to dampen the moral of Nigerian workers as he requires their performance to achieve success.
Mohammed urged the labour movement to be proactive in exposing corruption, noting that funds allocated to states must be judiciously utilized.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday last week, approved the release of N713.7billion intervention funds to state governments to pay workers’ salaries.
In the package are N413.7 billion special intervention funds and the balance of about N250 billion to N300 billion, which is a soft loan to states.
The N413.7 billion ($2.1billion) was sourced from the recent LNG proceeds, while the remaining N300 billion was a Central Bank-packaged special intervention fund.
The Debt Management Office, DMO, is also expected to assist states to restructure over N660 billion commercial loans. This implied that deductions from monthly allocations to states at source have been stopped.

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