Okorocha says governors stand with president

Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) at the State House in Abuja

 Addressing journalists after the meeting, Chairman of APC governors’ Forum and Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha,  said financial fortunes of states had improved tremendously.
Okorocha, who led other APC governors to the meeting with Buhari, also said the governors were worried about the crises in the National Assembly.

Asked about the state of the economy in the states now, Okorocha said: “There is a lot of improvement. You will recall that when oil was above $100, what the states are getting now is close to what they used to get before.

“This means that government is doing a lot, we are not yet there but we are getting there. We appeal to Nigerians to be patient with this government because it means well about the welfare of our people.”
The states have been in bad financial shape receiving meagre allocations from the federation accounts in the last one year.

The parlous financial situation of the states left about 28 of them unable to pay their staff salaries with some of the governors applying for bail-outs from the federal government.

Last week, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, hinted that things had started  improving financially as the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) had improved on revenue collections, making more money available for the governors to share.

The revenues shared to the governors in July from the Federal Allocation Accounts Committee (FAAC) was an improvement over what they got in previous months.

Asked what the governors discussed with the president, Okorocha said: “We have come to reassure the pesident that the APC governors are solidly behind him. His fight against corruption, his fight against insurgents and all his laudable projects.

“We are concerned about the incessant happenings in the National Assembly and we have taken it upon ourselves to look into the matter, (the crisis at the National Assembly.)
“We are going to look into the matter because we need a strong, vibrant National Assembly to make things move fast in the country.”

Responding to criticisms trailing the governors planned trip to Germany, Okorocha said it was not a jamboree but an exchange programme aimed at improving governance back home.
He said: “There is nothing like jamboree trips, we are going to Germany because we cannot do everything here without exchanging ideas.
So, we want to see how they did  what they have done to succeed. It’s the aspiration of Nigeria to be like other countries in the world.”