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Bailout: Workers issue warning to govs

Workers across the country, who received President Muhammadu Buhari’s N713.7 billion bailout for states to pay outstanding salaries with ecstasy, have warned governors against misappropriating the funds.

The umbrella bodies of the workers, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), which handed down the warning, urged President Buhari to ensure that the governors spend the money on salary arrears as directed.

TUC, through its General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozon-Eson, said: “Our appeal is that Mr. President should please prevail on the governors to ensure that when they get these sharing they should not again blow it on other things. The first priority must be defraying the arrears of salaries and pensions of pensioners who have not been paid for 11 to 12 months. ”

Ozon-Esson, who is also the NLC chief economist, said the congress was happy about the Federal Government’s intervention, recalling that the congress presented the debt profile to the Presidential Transition Committee.

The NLC, in a separate reaction commended the president for walking his talk as he had earlier said that it is a disgrace that Nigerian states could not pay workers’ salaries.

Read also: FG, states agree on bailout strategies

Deputy President of the NLC, Comrade Isah Aremu said: “Now, the defaulting governors must learn from the president’s approach that they don’t have any excuse not to pay workers’ salaries. He has shown that no reason can justify why workers are not paid.

“The governors must also prioritise their needs henceforth in a way that workers are given priority and not rely on the president to give them bailout from the Federation Account.”

Aremu added that labour was happy that President Buhari is already living up to his mandate, adding that what is important now is for it to be sustained.

In the three-pronged bailout plan, directed by the president is the N413.7 billion special intervention fund, the N413.7 billion ($2.1 billion) Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) proceeds and a N300 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention loan.

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