The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has decried the controversies surrounding federal government’s refund of over deductions from the state governments’ allocations between 1995 and 2002 to settle Paris and London Clubs loan, urging the Minister of Finance and the all state governors to publish details of payments to each state.
President Muhammadu Buhari had early December last year approved a total of N522.74 billion to be disbursed to states as reimbursement for over deductions on the external debt service.
The CNPP, which is the umbrella body of all registered political parties and associations in Nigeria, in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, noted that it was immoral for states to receive the reimbursements and yet owe their workers salary arrears.
“We have observed with dismay that most states are still owing their workers several months of salary and pension arrears.
“It is immoral for state governors owing civil servants’ salaries not to pay now, having received huge amounts as reimbursements from the Federal Government.
“More worrisome is the spate of controversies surrounding the refund as some states now claim they are yet to receive the reimbursement, while workers at both the state and local government levels were left without their sufferings ameliorated by their state governors.
“If the Federal Ministry of Finance does not want to be seen as collaborators in ongoing corruption at state levels, which led to nonpayment of salaries in the first place, the details of payment to each state must be published on newspapers and on their website for worker to be able to hold their state government accountable.
“In the same vein, we demand that all state governors publish the details of the reimbursement as they received from the federal government.
“As a recent report put it, only three states, namely Lagos, Enugu and Rivers are paying salaries as at when due, which is not good for a society where majority of the citizens are suffering as a result of increasing hardship on the land.