Despite being neck-deep in foreign and domestic debts, 35 financially challenged states in Nigeria are putting pressure on the federal government to release funds to them in the form of loan from an already depleted excess crude account.
Laolu Akande, the spokesman of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, quoted Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as making the disclosure at the national economic council (NEC) meeting on Thursday in Abuja.
Muhammadu Buhari with governors.
Nigeria has 36 states apart from Abuja, its capital and some of the governors had earlier been granted a bailout to ease up the challenges of paying workers in the state.
All the 36 governors are members of the council.
But many of them are currently answering questions on how they allegedly mismanaged the fund.
“Thirty states have so far benefited with the salary bailout as at 18th May, 2016. Thirty-five states have applied for the Excess Crude Account-backed loans,” Akande said on behalf of Emefiele.
On her part, the minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, told the council that the balance in the excess crude account as at April 30, 2016 was $2,259,688,878.06 and that interest accrued to the account for the month of April 2016 was $429,903.55.
At the meeting presided over by Osinbajo, a fiscal sustainability plan to help states navigate the current economic conditions was approved.
The government has been making efforts to boost the economy. President Muhammadu Buhari had recently travelled to China and Emefiele later said China would soon begin to import goods from Nigeria as a result of the trip.
It is expected that the move will help narrow the very wide trade gap between the two countries.
Emefiele said the federal government was talking with China so it would also be importing some of its own items from Nigeria.