LP opposes bailout for states over unpaid salaries
I inherited empty treasury, says Wike
The Labour Party (LP) yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reject the calls on the Federal Government to bail out States owing workers salaries. Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has alleged that he inherited empty treasury contrary to claims by officials of his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi’s administration that the sum of N7 billion was left in the state coffers.
National Chairman of the LP , Abdukadir Abdulsalam, said yesterday in Abuja that rather than rush to the Federal Government for help, states only needed to look inward to generate enough funds to pay their workers.
He added that States should depend less on federal allocation which they can use for other developmental needs. He said President Buhari should not in any way pay States workers, saying it would set a bad precedent and worsen the crisis.
“To us in the LP, the Federal Government should not set bad precedent by bailing out these states from the quagmire of paying workers’ salaries, which is their right. The states should go back to the drawing board and ensure that their priority henceforth as they receive allocations from the federal government should be to pay the backlog of salaries they owe the workers.
“It is disheartening and most unfortunate that most of the states that clamour for change and those there before as governors who also destroyed the economy of their respective states can now no longer pay workers’ salaries up to 10 months. This is unbelievable in a country like ours.
These states due to their lack of preparedness, prioritization of project and coupled with their white elephant projects were unable to do the right things,” Abdulsalam said.
“We support the NLC and the TUC that any state owing workers’ salaries should be locked-down and all the governors, including former governors owing salaries for more than two months should be investigated by the EFCC to explain what happened to the resources of their state especially Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Rauf Aregbesola of Osun and Idris Wada of Kogi among others,” Abdulsalam added.
Wike said no such money was domiciled in the state account, even as the State federation account allocation was already in debit as at May 29 when he took over the reins of governance in the state. Wike revealed this in Port Harcourt yesterday while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two construction companies, Julius Berger and CCECC for the rehabilitation of 33 kilometres of township roads in Port Harcourt.
He added that from the brief he received from the State Accountant General after his inauguration, only one revenue account with Sterling Bank had some funds left by the immediate past administration.
The governor explained that his administration resolved to take the N10billion loan with specific focus on key projects to be implemented.
He noted that the request to the State Assembly was accompanied by all the projects to be executed. An aide to former Rivers State governor, Achinike Willaims-Wobodo, had this week alleged that N7 billion was left in the state coffers by the Governor Amaechi’s administration.