Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has said that his administration needs more than N32.2 billion to offset the arrears of workers’ salaries, gratuities, pensions and subventions.
At an enlarged meeting with labour leaders in the state, Ugwuanyi said that the debts were accumulated by previous administrations over the years.
He said that the essence of the meeting was to intimate the labour leaders with the efforts to procure the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, bailout funds to offset part of the debts.
He said that it was important that the workers were carried along to determine the best ways to disburse the fund.
“The essence of this meeting is for you to know that we have formally applied for the sum of N4.2 billion for the purpose of defraying debts owed workers in the core ministries.
“We want you to interface with your colleagues in other states to recommend ways the funds will be managed when it arrives,” he said.
“We promised you accountability at all times and it is important to point out that workers in the local government areas are not covered by this N4.2 billion bailout fund,” Ugwuanyi said.
Also speaking, the Accountant General of the state, Mr Pascal Okolie said that the bailout was to defray one month arrears of pensions, salaries of non-permanent workers and subventions owed the government agencies.
Okolie said that the state owed the sum of N9.6 billion in gratuities and pensions, N1.8 billion in salaries and N1.46 billion in subventions to the agencies.
Responding, chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in the state, Mr Viginus Nwobodo thanked the governor for being forthright in the deliberations.
Nwobodo said they were aware of the financial challenges in the country, but expressed worry that the bailout fund was inadequate to defray the debts owed the workers.

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