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Buhari Approves N552.74bn For States, Directs Govs To Pay Salaries

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday directed state governors to pay at least 25 percent of the refunds made to them from excess deductions for external debt service to be used to settle outstanding workers’ entitlements
He approved the sum of N552.74 billion to be paid in batches to all the states that were owed, but they are expected to receive 25 percent of their approved sums in the first instance before this week runs out.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said in a statement, that there were about 33 states in that bracket.

Shehu did not name the states involved, but said the refunds arose following their claims that they had been overcharged in deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.

He quoted Buhari as saying in a directive through Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, that the issue of workers benefits, particularly salary and pensions must not be allowed to continue as a national problem and should be tackled with all the urgency that could be summoned.  

Shehu stated: "When he assumed office last year, the President declared an emergency over unpaid salaries, following the discovery that 27 out of the country’s 36 states had fallen behind in the payments to their workers, in some cases for up to a year.

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