States May Not Be Able To Meet Up Financial Burdens- Niger State Governor
It seems that some states may not really be able to pay the agreed N30,000 new minimum wage, as some states are currently finding it difficult to pay the current minimum wage to its civil staff. According to Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello Governor of Niger State, it is increasingly becoming difficult for states because of declining revenue. He also predicts that in few years, states may not be able to pay salaries and pensions because of heavy reliance on federal allocation.
Governor Abubarkar Bello
But all hope is not lost, as Bello explained what his government is doing to beat the foreseeable challenge, during a media chat with journalists. Bello says that he has continued to focus on areas that would help make his state a financially dependent state, through ideas that would boost internally-generated revenue, so that Niger State would not rely heavily on the Federal Allocation Commission (FAAC).
“From what we are seeing, I have a strong feeling that we are almost reaching the end of the era when states would survive on their FAAC allocations. And the earlier we realize and accept this, the better. Even the oil-producing states. People are relying on state allocations from FAAC, but with what I have seen so far, in the next few years, most of the states, if not all, will not be able to pay salaries. As I speak right now, our pension bill increases every quarter, and the revenues are not increasing. As a matter of fact, the revenues are declining. So among the many things that need to be done, I am more concerned about placing the state in a financially stable environment,”Bello also added that his administration met a lot of abandoned projects in 2015, which it completed since government is a continuum. For example, he said when he became governor, it was discovered that children sat on bare floors in some schools in Niger State, while pupils trekked long kilometres in other communities. Also he disclosed that two local government areas were without electricity supply. Bello assured Nigerians that re-electing President Buhari into power in 2019, will stabilise Nigeria’s economy. What do you think of Governor Bello’s revelation?