By Aare Wole Arisekola
Since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015 and his re-election in 2019, State governments have enjoyed the most.
The question to ask at this time is: are the state governors are complementing the efforts of President Buhari?
The hardship that set in following the recession of 2015/2016, made it difficult for states to pay civil servants’ salaries. The Buhari administration stepped in and provided a bailout and budget support of more than N600 billion to states.
Comrade Evah of the Ijaw Monitoring Group said:
“The bailout funds for states when he resumed office were a major stroke for this administration. When this government came on board, there was confusion everywhere because of salary problem in the states. In fact, we were recording suicides everywhere. For instance, some states in Niger Delta were owing five months salaries.”
Besides the bailout funds, the Buhari-led administration facilitated the over $5bn Paris Club Refunds (owed for a decade) to state governments
The latest of Buhari’s support to states was the refund of N700bn for Road Projects. A couple of weeks back, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) under the chairmanship of President Buhari, approved the refund of N148 billion to five states in the country for the repair of Federal roads. The states include Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Ondo and Osun.
This singular act prompted Gov. Wike of Rivers States, who is a strong critic of President Buhari, to do something extraordinary. Wike surprised everybody, when he issued newspaper advertisements with the title, ‘Thank You Our Dear President.’
The Buhari government has also enhanced Loan Restructuring of more than N500bn
Schemes like the anchor borrower funds, ecological funds, and many more have been beneficial to many states
All of these acts are a reflection that Buhari has the interest of Nigerians at heart.
We all must stop blaming Mr President and ask our governors how these monies been disbursed to them are utilized.
If our state governors can complement Buhari’s effort with these funds, Nigeria will be a better place.