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Abubakar Bello Niger state doesn’t have money to pay salaries – Governor says

The Governor made this revelation after holding a closed door meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

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Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello. play

Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello.

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The Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, has revealed that he can no longer pay the salaries of workers in the state.

Bello said “We have laid the cards on the table; we are not hiding anything. We are very transparent as much as we can but the truth of the matter is that I cannot give what we don’t have. I wish I had; personally if I had, I would have paid (salaries) from my pocket but I can’t.”

The Governor made this revelation after holding a closed door meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Bello said it was not wise for the state government to borrow money to pay salaries, when there are other pressing issues for the government to attend to.

He added that if nothing is done to salvage the financial problem the state is facing by the end of December 2016, its debt profile will increase to N10b.

The Niger state Governor said he had to talk with labour leaders, so they’ll understand what the government is facing.

He also said “I think we should go back to the table. Of course, we can’t give what we don’t have.

“We are facing difficult times now, so let us sit down and see what we can do.

“I really think it is unhealthy to keep on borrowing just to pay salaries. Apart from that, we are not just there to pay salaries, there are a lot of issues.

“I got a call this morning from one Girls’ Secondary School that their roof is off in six out of seven dormitories. Where will they sleep? Now if I take the whole revenue and pay salaries, how am I going to fix schools, hospitals?”

READ: 'I can't sell myself to pay salaries,' Fayose tells striking workers

Civil servants in Ekiti state are currently on strike following the inability of the government to pay them salaries for 10 months.

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