State governors have asked the Federal Government to release the 50 percent balance of Paris Club refund by November.
The governors said this when they were represented by 7 of their colleagues at a meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday.
- The Federal Government had disbursed N760.17 billion, paid in two tranches, to the 36 states as refund under the Paris Club loan.
What they said:
Those in the delegation were Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi) and Eric Igwe, deputy governor of Ebonyi.
Yari said, “We are here on behalf of the 36 states governors and this is a result of the collective decision to see the president after the National Economic Council meeting last month,” he said.
“Our mission here is simple, we are here to thank Mr President for his concern about the state of the economy and for giving us support ranging from bailouts, restructuring our debts, Paris club exit payment.
“We also told him that we think that it was because of his decision to grant us bailouts and pay the refund of the Paris Club that we got out of recession.
“We thanked the president for that and at the same time, as a father, we said to him Mr President you remember that in 2016, we presented to you the numbers of Paris exit funds which we agreed, and you directed we be paid 50percent and the remaining 50 percent open reconciliation.
“Reconciliation has been on since 2016, we are hoping that both the Debt Management Office (DMO), minister of finance, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), and our consultants are concluding this reconciliation by November, so therefore we want to crave your indulgence so that we can factor the numbers in our 2018 budget, so that we can use it for projects and other recurrent spending according to the specification given by our respective house of assemblies and that’s why we are here.
“We are going to work on the numbers when he returns from his trip (Buhari will be leaving for Turkey on Wednesday), we are going to follow up this meeting with him so that we can conclude on what is going to be done next.”