The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) says plans are underway for its members to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari in order to fashion out ways of resolving the economic situation of Nigeria.
Addressing journalists after a meeting, the Governor of Zamfara State and Chairman of the Forum, Mr Abdulaziz Yari, said the current economic situation of the country has become one that requires urgent attention from both the federal and state governments.
“We discussed that extensively and we are trying to see that we find a lasting solution. We are seeing the President to sit down with him. As we are in a bad situation, the federal government is also in the same problem because some of the agencies have not paid salaries for six months.
“So it’s not only states that are owing. It’s the problem of the entire nation, not only states. We are going to work in synergy and keep our fingers crossed. We will meet with the President so that we can get a lasting solution to this problem,” he added.
The Forum also promised to offer a hand of fellowship to the president and members of the 8th National Assembly for the nation’s socio economic development.
Reports that most states governments are owing salaries and other back log of debts are some of the issues that were discussed during the meeting.
“Instead of asking for bailout, let us look for how the federal government can settle that backlog for us so that we can move forward. Nearly all the states are being owed by the by the federal government.
“Some of the states are being owed about N10 billion, some N20 billion with a state like Lagos being owed more than N50 billion. So, if we can get that done, then most of the issues can be resolved in earnest,” Governor Yari said.
Security issues were not left out as the Forum also came up with a resolution on how the Federal Government can assist states suffering from the Boko Haram terror attacks.
The issues surrounding the sharing of revenues accruing to the Federation Account also formed part of the discussion at the meeting that was held behind closed doors at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
It is the first time the Governors are meeting after about three years following the emergence of two factional chairmen after an election that resulted in disagreement.
At least 23 governors were present at the meeting.
In a communique released by the governors after the meeting and signed by Yari, the governors ratified Yari’s election as chairman of the Forum for a term of one year, renewable after expiration.
Some Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had on Monday requested for a bailout from the Federal Government, saying ‘dwindling revenue’ has affected the payment of workers salaries.
The NLC had said that about 18 state governors are owing over 8 months salaries.