LAGOS, Nigeria – President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a bailout of more than $2 billion for states to resolve a crisis that has left hundreds of thousands of workers unpaid for months.
A government statement Tuesday says the money will come from $2.1 billion in dividends recently paid by the state natural gas agency and through soft loans from the Central Bank.
Buhari at the end of May inherited an economy in shambles, with government revenue nearly halved by weak oil prices and the naira currency losing a third of its value.
No one seems to know how many workers are owed. The Nigeria Labor Congress complained in April that all tiers of government have not paid workers for between two and eight months. Eighteen of the 35 states have unpaid workers.