President Muhammadu Buhari’s bailout to states to deal with the problem of unpaid public sector salaries in many states has continued to draw commentaries from many quarters
Critics say the action though commendable conflicts sharply with his declaration a few weeks after he resumed office that he inherited a virtually empty treasury
But the President’s supporters insist that the President is doing things radically different from the previous administration by putting an end to impunity and fragrant disobedience of law and order
There was an initial confusion about where the money shared to states came from after an official of government indicated that it came from the Excess Crude oil account
Clarification came from the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina who had in a statement explained that the President’s bailout to states came from three sources:
The sharing of the $2.1bn dividend paid to the Federation Account by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG); a Central Bank-packaged special intervention fund that will offer financing to the states, ranging from N250bn to N300bn and a debt relief program designed by the Debt Management Office which will help states restructure their commercial loans currently put at over N660bn, and extend the life span of such loans while reducing their debt-servicing expenditures.
Since then barbs have been flying from the President’s critics
But one man that had stood in firm defence of the Federal Government’s action is the Governor of Edo State, Adams OSHIOMOLE, a member of the committee investigating the illegal deductions from the Excess crude oil account springs up to the defense of the President. He argued that there is no text book solution to the economic challenges facing the country at the moment and added that what the president did was circumstantial and suitable for the moment.
More reactions will continue even as the question of how the state will continue paying salaries in the face of dwindling global economy remains unanswered.