The Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said that the Federal Government intervention funds to states are being used judiciously; on critical challenges.
Fayemi was replying to widespread criticisms trailing the use of the FG’s intervention funds by states.
Speaking to State House Correspondents on Tuesday after a meeting with the President, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Fayemi affirmed that such funds have been applied to tackle critical challenges by the recipients.
He explained that “Governors are elected to tend to the affairs of their states, and protect their citizens in the best manner possible. You would recall that the bridge finance that we negotiated with the federal government was precisely that, to bridge the gap that was created by the repayment of the previous facilities, around bailouts, around budget support, and on excess crude support, which Mr President approved in 2017.
“The repayment of those loans had commenced because CBN wanted the money back. And because that would have left us with a very deep hole in virtually all the states, we then negotiated for these to address specific things in relation to workers welfare, infrastructure development, improving on the enabling environment for investments in our states, and these are the things that states are spending it on.
“They are very specific, measurable and each state has outlined what this support would cover.”
Dr Fayemi said as the Chairman of the NGF, he came to the villa to brief the President on issues concerning the states and as well commend him for trying to stem insecurity in the country.
He explained, “Well, it’s customary, I mean, as chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, to always exchange notes with Mr President from time to time, especially in the yuletide season like this, I always find time to come and say hello to Mr President.
“But yes, there will always be issues to discuss between the sub nationals, and the president of the Federal Republic, to commend him for his efforts in trying to stem the tide of insecurity in our country, and to also deal with the economic challenges that we are confronted with.
“On our part as governors, we have had cause during the year to raise issues about insecurity in various domains. We have had cause to raise issues about economic challenges that the country is experiencing, we have had cause to raise other governance-related issues.
“And Mr President has responded to many of those issues, he has stepped in the bridge, he has assisted us as states, even most recently he has supported us with bridge finance, to address some of the economic difficulties that states are experiencing.
“And it’s always appropriate to express our gratitude, even as we continue to raise concerns about aspects of our governance that we still want him to do more on.”