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States can't pay salaries because Nigeria is broke, says Amaechi

By The Citizen
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The out-going governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has stated that the reason why the state and others could not pay workers' salaries and pensions is because of the nation's current poor financial condition, which he said is broke.

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.

'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.

'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,' he stated.