FG to Make More Funds Available to States


*States present fiscal restructuring plan to Buhari
*Want revenue-sharing formula reviewed

Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday in Abuja that the Federal Government would make more money available to the states to help them meet the challenges they are facing even as the states asked for 18 months’ moratorium on their debts.

The states are also seeking a review of the revenue-sharing formula between them and the Federal Government.

A statement issued after the governors met with the president quoted Buhari as saying that the dire situation the states found themselves in was of great concern to him.

‎The statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said Buhari was worried that nearly two-thirds of states of the federation were still having difficulties with salary payments despite the bail-out funds provided to them by the Federal Government.

Speaking at a meeting with members of the Nigeria Governors Forum at the Presidential Villa, Buhari said that he was very disturbed by the hardship which state government workers across the country and their families were facing due to the non-payment of salaries.

To ameliorate the hardship being faced by affected workers, the president said that the Federal Government would strive to make more funds available to the states by expediting action on refunds due to them for the maintenance of federal roads and other expenses incurred on behalf of the Federal Government.

Buhari also said that he would establish an inter-ministerial committee to study a Fiscal Restructuring Plan for the Federation which was presented to him by the governors.
The president said that the committee would review the plan to improve the finances of state governments and make recommendations on how proposals in the plan should be dealt with by the Presidency, the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly through legislation.