Hard times await Niger workers as gov says he can no longer pay
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Hard times await Niger workers as gov says he can no longer pay salaries

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Hard times await Niger workers as gov says he can no longer pay salaries

The current economic downturn in the country may be worse than what most Nigerians think, as the governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, Wednesday, said it had become impossible for him to pay salaries.

The governor stated this when he spoke with State House correspondents shortly after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“We have laid the cards on the table; we are not hiding anything. We are very transparent as much as we can but the truth of the matter is that I cannot give what we don’t have. I wish I had; personally if I had, I would have paid (salaries) from my pocket but I can’t.”

According to the governor, his government had been borrowing from banks since January to augment whatever came to the state in form of federal allocation, adding that as of May ending, his government was in debt to the tune of N3bn.

Read also: Govs travel ban can plunge Nigeria into civil war, PDP tells Buhari

The governor, who said by December, his state’s debt profile will have risen to N10bn, said the state government decided to sit with labour leaders and discuss the issue because it could not offer what it did not have.

“I think we should go back to the table. Of course, we can’t give what we don’t have. We are facing difficult times now, so let us sit down and see what we can do.

“I really think it is unhealthy to keep on borrowing just to pay salaries. Apart from that, we are not just there to pay salaries, there are a lot of issues.

“I got a call this morning from one Girls’ Secondary School that their roof is off in six out of seven dormitories. Where will they sleep? Now if I take the whole revenue and pay salaries, how am I going to fix schools, hospitals?”, he asked.

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