The Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has again declared that Nigeria is broke and blamed the inability of the state and others to pay workers’ salaries and pensions on the nation’s current poor financial condition.
Amaechi said that the nation’s economic condition could be noticed through the dwindling statutory monthly allocation usually received by the state from the Federal Government.
Speaking during a thanksgiving service organised by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, and his campaign outfit, the Greater Campaign Organisation in Port Harcourt on Sunday, the governor recalled that he was described as an alarmist last year when he cried out over Nigeria’s poor financial state.
Amaechi pointed out that the nation’s economy had continued to fall since he made the statement in December 2014.
“When I said sometime last year that Nigeria’s finances was in a dire strait, some people referred to me as an alarmist. Since I made that statement in December last year, the statutory allocation to the state has continued to decline.
“Now, almost all the states are finding it difficult to pay salaries. The state government owes civil servants their April salaries and pensioners’ four months’ salary arrears because the state does not have the money to pay them,” the governor said.
Amaechi explained that he decided to channel financial resources towards the completion of ongoing projects, which he promised would be completed before the end of his administration on May 29, 2015.
He said, “Some people have chosen to make an issue of the difficulty we are currently experiencing in paying the salaries of civil servants as well as the arrears of our retirees. It is not our making.
“No government will deliberately refuse to pay the salaries of its workers. We will pay as soon as we receive our share of our statutory monthly allocation from the Federal Government.
“It is not easy to joggle the payment of salaries and the implementation of capital projects that are actually geared towards developing the state, creating jobs and improving the economy of the state because more monies go into the society when you award contracts and pay the contractors on time so that they can also pay their workers on time.”