The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Saturday advised the Federal Government against the issuance of bailout funds to state governments for the payment of workers’ salaries.

The union’s South-West Chairman, Mr. Tokunbo Korodo, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

NAN reports that the disbursement of bailout funds to the states was necessitated by the prevailing economic challenges which resulted in the non-payment of workers’ salaries by many states across the federation.
The agency further reports that in 2015, the state governments received N713.7 billion as bailout funds from the federal government, to defray the backlog of salaries.

Korodo urged the state governments with huge salary arrears to look inwards and find new ways to generate revenue, without waiting for monthly allocations from the federation account.

He expressed regret that most state governments in the country had too many aides that were a big drain on their resources and advised them to downsize, to save costs.

“Most of the Governors have about 20 Commissioners and over 42 Special Advisers, besides another large number of associates from which they have appointed the heads of various boards and agencies in the state. Governors from the 27 state governments that cannot pay the monthly salaries of their workers should look inwards to find new ways of making money to settle their wage bills”, he added.

Korodo suggested the revitalisation of agriculture as a credible alternative to the current over-dependence of such states on revenues from the federation account. He also advised such governors to block all existing leakages in revenue generation in their states.