FG borrows N600bn monthly to pay salaries

  • Civil servants in 15 states groan over unpaid salaries

Faced with financial challenges occasioned by the drop in oil revenue, the Federal Government has resorted to borrowing to augment salaries of its workforce.

On the average, the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration borrows over N600 billion monthly to pay workers’ salaries. Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SSG), Engr. Babachir David Lawal, made the disclosure yesterday during the opening ceremony of 63rd General Church Council meeting of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) in Jos. Lawal, who represented Buhari at the occasion, declared that states would still find it difficult to pay salaries in the next four months, due to the challenges being faced.

He, however, promised that the administration was working hard towards solving the problems. “N600 billion is on the average if you look at monies coming from the Federation Allocation Account Committee, even for the states.

The Federal Government sometimes gets around N130 billion and sometimes, if lucky, N200 billion and we have an expenditure profile of roughly N800 and N900 billion monthly. “Naturally, you need to augment everywhere from wherever you can find it and there are so many avenues like local borrowing because the monies coming from the federal allocation is not enough and the figures are not fixed. It varies from month to month depending on what is able to get into treasury and our own share from the federation account, just like the states.

“And you remember Osun State got N55 million in a month from the federal allocation and the state has a salary bill of over N4 billion in a month.” The SGF also revealed that all the stolen monies recovered was not sufficient enough for the country, as many had stolen and bought properties or have spent most of the monies they stole.

He urged all faith-based organisations and traditional institutions to sensitise the citizenry on the need to exercise patience on the hardship that is currently being experienced by all, stressing that though this administration inherited a country that was robbed to the last coffers, the economy would be revived within a short time.

The SGF lamented that the present administration inherited an ailing economy that must be nurtured for some time before it stabilises. Lawal assured citizens that with the desired cooperation, the country would come out of the slump and assume its rightful place as the most populous black nation.

“We sincerely solicit the cooperation of a strong religious institution like ECWA to join government in its efforts by preaching total obedience of laws and regulations by citizens, peaceful co-existence among the various cultures and diversities and renewed zeal in the pursuit of viable economic activities,” he said.

Earlier, the ECWA President, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Gado, said church and indeed, all Christians are praying that God would help the Buhari administration to succeed. “ECWA and the church in Nigeria pray that God will help the federal and state governments defeat the terrorists and right the wrongs against the people of Nigeria,” he said.