President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, and Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to release the second tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds to the states in order to “ease their financial hardships”.
Buhari gave the order at the meeting of the national economic council chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja on Thursday.
He told the governors to settle unpaid salaries and pension liabilities of their workers.
“I will not rest until I address those issues that affect our people. One of these basic things is the issue of salaries,” he said.
“It is most important that workers are able to feed their families, pay rent and school fees, then other things can follow.”
Buhari, who went round the council chambers to greet the governors one after another, praised the unity of the forum of state governors.
He thanked them profusely for their display of “love and respect” to him.
The president said he was overwhelmed by his recent experience in which states, irrespective of political differences charged their citizens to pray in mosques and churches for his well-being and apologised to governors for barring them from visits to him while he rested in London.
“I didn’t want government to move to London. I wanted it to remain here and I am glad it did,” he said.
After narrating what he went through while on that vacation, Buhari noted the suggestion by the governors for him to add more rest, but insisted that he would remain relentless in the pursuit of the interest of the Nigerian people at all times.
This, according to him, was the only way to show his gratitude to the people who, he said, “had given so much to me. I was overwhelmed by the celebration of my return all across the country.”