States yet to get FG’s bailout funds – Oshiomhole

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has said none of the 36 state governors has received ‎his state’s share of the N713.7bn bailout fund from the Federal Government, meant to assist cash-strapped states to pay their workers months of arrears of salaries.

Oshiomhole, who disclosed this to journalists shortly after a reception in honour of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, at Sabongida Ora, in Owan West Local Government Area of the state on Saturday, explained that while he was unaware of any disbursement, there were conversations going on between the governors and the Federal Government.

The governor added that President Muhammadu Buhari had been “extremely positive” in recognising that he did not want to preside over a country whose workers were not paid.

He said the President was also worried about the expenditure of the states as well as measures aimed at the effective management of their resources.

Oshiomhole added, “It doesn’t matter who is responsible for it; but at the end of the day, it is simply not acceptable to have a situation in which about 13, 14, 15 states for two, three, four, five, sometimes, one year‎, people have not been paid.

“He (President Buhari) is angry with that and he is ready to work doable programmes to deal with that and then, going forward, to ‎look at the structural issues in the expenditure pattern of states because, you see, nobody ever has enough.

“The basic law of economics is that resources are scarce in relation to our wants. So, who gets what done has to be a matter of creativity, of priority and of proper costing and project management.

“So, I think the good news is that the President is there to stand by us in finding solutions beyond cash giving. Nobody has gotten any one dime. But there is always a time lag between when you conceptualise a solution, when you think through it, when you reach a conclusion and when it begins to manifest.

“So for now, no governor, no government has gotten any one naira under the bailout. But the hope is there; the President is determined and we are all working to see that it is done in a way that it benefits the target group, which is that no Nigerian worker should go home at the end of the month without getting a positive alert from his banker.”

Oshiomhole, who was part of the President’s delegation to the United States last week, described the outcome of the meeting with the US President, Barack Obama, as a demonstration of commitment to the development of Nigeria, as Africa’s most populous nation.