Hope appears to have dimmed for cash-strapped states which are banking on a bailout from the Federal Government as the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, yesterday said the central government is also weighed down by heavy financial burden.
Fielding questions from newsmen yesterday at the NGF meeting in Abuja, its chairman and Zamfara State Governor, Abdullazeez Yari, said some federal workers are being owed several months salaries like the situation in some states and it will be unrealistic to expect the same government that owes workers to bailout insolvent states.
He emphasised that rather than ask for bailout from the federal government the NGF will meet President Muhammadu Buhari next week to discuss how the funds expended by states for federal roads and other projects can be expeditiously refunded to the states.
“We all know that the economy of the country is in bad shape. So, what we suggested was that a numerous number of state governors have executed various projects for the Federal Government. So, instead of looking for that, let us look for the Federal Government to settle that backlog for us so that we can be able to move forward.
“Nearly all the states; you can have N10billion, N20billion, like Lagos more than N50billion spent on federal projects that is not yet settled. So, if we can get that done, then most of the issues can be resolved in earnest.”
He explained that the dire financial position of almost all the States and way out of the quagmire dominated their deliberation at the meeting that lasted almost five hours.
“We discussed that extensively and we are trying to see that we find a lasting solution. We are seeing the President to sit down with him. As we are in debt, the Federal Government is also on the same thing because some of the agencies were not paid salaries for six months. It’s not only states.
“So, it’s the problem of the entire nation, not only states. We are going to work in synergy to cross our fingers, meet with the President so that we can get a lasting solution to this problem.”
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the NGF ratified the nomination of Governor Yari as the forum chairman by consensus for one year.
They also congratulated the new leadership of the National Assembly and emphasized with the governments of the states affected by insurgency in the north east.
The communiqué also said the governors will undertake a “retreat dedicated exclusively to how states can become more viable and identify means of improving governance.”

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