Paris Club refund: States get N243.7bn

Osun State receives N6.3bn second tranche of Paris Club refund

Rauf Aregbesola Osun State governor

The 36 States of the Federation have received another tranche of the Paris Club refund.

It quoted the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, to have stressed that the debt service deductions were in respect of the Paris and London Clubs' loans and multilateral debts of the FG and states.

The ministry said the releases were predicated on the condition that a minimum of 75 per cent of the money would be used for the payment of workers' salaries and pensions.

Kano got N10 billion, Katsina, N8.2 billion; Kebbi, N5.98 billion; Kogi, N6.03 billion; Kwara, N5.12 billion; Lagos, N8.37 billion; Nasarawa, N4.55 billion; Niger, N7.2 billion; and Ogun, N5.7 billion. While Nigeria reached a final agreement for debt relief with the Paris Club in October 2005, some States had already been overcharged.

A detailed report is being compiled for presentation to the president as part of the process for approval for the release of any subsequent tranches.

The funds were released to state governments as part of wider efforts to stimulate the economy, even as they were specifically created to support states in meeting salary and other obligations, thereby alleviating the challenges faced by workers.

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The finance ministry stated that it was reviewing the impact of these releases based on the level of arrears owed by the various state governments.

Fayose, who took to his Facebook to confirm the receipt, said Ekiti received "a total sum of N4,772,836,647.08" which will "be shared between the State and the Local Government".

In the announcement, the state said it had received N4.7 billion refund from the said fund.

Oriaku added that despite the "shortfall", Okezie Ikpeazu, the governor, had directed that the released funds should be committed wholly to salary arrears.

Interestingly, these five states also got the highest chunk of N135.09bn when the first tranche of N516.38bn was released by the government in December previous year.

More so, the allegations that followed the release of the first tranche highlighted by the alleged diversion of the fund towards the construction of a private hotel by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdul'aziz Yari, create a cloud of mistrust over the entire disbursement.

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