The Nigeria Labour Congress has called on its chairmen in the 36 states of the federation to monitor the disbursement of the Paris Club debt refunds to their respective state governments.

In a letter signed by the General Secretary, NLC, Peter Ozo-Eson, the union asked the chairmen to ensure that the state governments utilised substantial part of the fund to offset outstanding arrears of workers’ salaries, pensions and gratuity.

The union said, “It has come to our notice that disbursement of the refund of Paris debt deductions has recently been made to states. This represents a major injection of funds into the coffers of the state governments.

“Given this development, all state councils of the congress are enjoined to monitor closely the amount received in their states and engage with their state governments to ensure that the substantial part of the fund is used for defraying outstanding arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuity.

“We are informed that the Federal Government’s guideline in releasing this fund stipulates that at least 50 per cent of receipts should be applied for the payment of such salary arrears and pensions.”

The Federal Government had last week approved the sum of N522.74bn to be paid to the 36 states of the federation as part of the reimbursement for the over-deductions on the Paris Club loan.

The government had reached a conditional agreement to pay 25 per cent of the amounts claimed by the state governors subject to a cap of N14.5bn to any given state.

It was reported that a minimum of 50 per cent of any amount disbursed would be dedicated to the payment of salaries and pensions, as well as alleviating the hardship faced by Nigerians.