Okorocha Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo has attributed the poor state of the nation’s economy for the non-payment salary arrears being owed government workers in some states of the federation.
Okorocha said this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of a meeting of All Progressives Congress (APC) governors and governors-elect on Tuesday in Abuja. The governor said that just like the states, the Federal Government was also finding it difficult to pay the salaries of its workers.
It would be recalled that Okorocha pledged to pay the 13 months salary arrears owed primary school teachers in the state during this year’s Workers Day.
“We must say that the economy is bad, let’s face the fact. Most governors are not able to pay salaries and there is no magic any governor can do to pay salary under the present situation.
“We intend to take that up with the President-elect to inform him of the challenges before him, to prepare his mind to know that there is a lot of challenges that the states are facing in terms of payment of salaries, including Federal Government.
“Here, you have an incoming president coming to meet almost an empty treasury, which tells you the challenges we have ahead of us.”
According to him, the APC governors and governors-elect have decided to meet to also review the just concluded 2015 general elections. This, he said, would enable the party and its elected officers to strategise on the best possible approach to tackle the country’s challenges.
“Basically, what we did was to review the just concluded election and we have congratulated each other and it’s on record that today, APPC has 22 governors-elect, while we are looking forward to getting more by the time we finish with the court processes.
“So this is the first introductory meeting to know one another and to discuss all that took place in the last election, the challenges, the merits and demerits.”
Okorocha said that some of their colleagues had embarked on holiday and medical checks to enable them regain their strength after the tedious electioneering campaigns.
He said that the presence of Senator Bukola Saraki at their meeting was not in any way connected to who emerged the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“Senator Bukola visited during our meeting, but we did not discuss the issue of who becomes the Senate President, or who becomes Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“Our mission is to familiarise ourselves and look at the state of our economy and see how we can meet the president-elect and make some suggestions on what he can do to move Nigeria forward.”
The meeting was attended by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, his Nasarawa counterpart, Tanko Al-Makura, Kaduna Gov.-elect, Malam Nasir El-Rufai and the Speaker of the House of Representatives who is the Sokoto State Gov.-elect, Aminu Tambuwal.
Also present at the meeting were Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, former Ekiti governor, Kayode Fayemi, Deputy Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje and APC national chairman, John Oyegun.