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Overdue debt repayment weak in most states, DMO warns

The Director-General, Debt Management Office, Ms Patience Oniha, has said that many state governments still struggle to pay arrears, a development that threatens the level of debt sustainability in states.

She said this in a presentation document titled ‘Paths to sustainable debt management: the SFTAS approach’, which was obtained by our correspondent,

The presentation was made by Dr Isiaku Mohammed on behalf of the DMO DG during a recent workshop for finance journalists in Abuja by the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Office.

Under the section titled ‘Challenges to Sustainability, the DMO DG was quoted as saying, “Arrears Clearance is still weak across most states.”

State governments including Kano, Benue, Osun, Delta, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun, Rivers and Kwara owed pensioners, with many of them dying without receiving their entitlements.

Labour leaders and officials of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners had told The PUNCH in separate interviews that aside from failing to remit the contributory pensions, retirees on the defined benefit scheme were being owed.

However, state government officials attributed the delay in paying pensions and gratuities to the poor economy of the country and assured the pensioners that the entitlements would be paid as soon as their cash flow improved.

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