Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, in a broadcast to commemorate Nigeria’s 57th independence anniversary in Abuja on Sunday, revealed that the Federal Government has so far released N1.64 trillion to states and local governments between 2015 and 2017 as part of measures to stabilise the polity .
He said that the funds were released to enable the states and local governments “pay outstanding salaries, pensions and small business suppliers who had been all, but crippled over the years. “N200 billion in 2015, N441 billion in 2016 and N1 trillion in 2017, altogether totalling N1.64 trillion.
“This was done to enable states pay outstanding salaries, pensions and small business suppliers who had been all but crippled over the years,” he said. The president disclosed that the Federal Government’s current N500 billion Special Intervention Programme targeted groups through the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme and the N-Power Programme as well as providing loans to small-scale traders and artisans.
He said that the intervention programme also covered the Conditional Cash Transfer, Family Homes Fund and Social Housing Scheme. Civil servants and retirees in some states are still being owed by their governments, backlog of unpaid salaries, pensions and other benefits. These had led to strikes and work stoppages.
Buhari had, on September 11, appealed to state governors to pay all outstanding salaries of their workers and accumulated pensions of ex-workers from the additional funds provided to them by the Federal Government. Meanwhile, at least 200,000 farmers from the federation have benefited from the N43.9 billion Federal Government’s Agricultural Anchor Borrowers Programme.
The programme was inaugurated by the President in November 2015. The President said the implementation of the programme had been an “outstanding success.”