Paris Club Fund: What is on Fayose’s to-do list?

by Alexander O. Onukwue

As the second tranche of the Paris Club Fund has been released to the 36 States and the FCT, the spotlight is now on State Governors to observe what their intentions are towards disbursing the funds.

One of the Governors sure to generate considerable attention is Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti.

The controversial Governor has, at times, stood as a one-man army against the Buhari Government. However, over the next 24 months, he too will be a major focus in the media and the newly released funds will only add to the increased scrutiny on him.

Presidency 2019

“Strong, reliable and rugged” – that’s the motto of a supposed Presidential Campaign that has been floated by Fayose through Facebook. According to The Cable, the Ekiti Governor wishes to draw Nigerians to himself because he is “Pro-Masses”, “Accessible”, and that “He’s Peter (The Rock)”. There have been no confirmations that the account was in fact created by Fayose’s team but there have been no denials either. He once said he has a penchant for taking powers and “that one in Buhari’s hand, I will take it. I’m the next president”.

And if Fayose were already plotting for a shot at the Presidency, it would be worthwhile doubling the lens of monitoring on the Paris Fund for the state, where workers are being owed for many months.

Governorship 2018

While considering a Presidential bid, Fayose has a supposed re-election bid as Ekiti Governor within his grasp. N4.77bn going into elections year is no small amount; it can do an awful lot in a gubernatorial election season for branded bags of rice and tomato sauce.

Salaries and Pensions

But the Paris Club fund has not been released by the Federal Government to any of the Governors – certainly not to Fayose – for any of the uses above. They are for the payment of salaries, and pension arrears. There would have to be a way to ensure that the Governors actually do pay these salaries, rather than divert the funds to personal campaigns.

Fayose is not alone in this; Anambra Governor, Willie Obiano, must also be watched to ensure he does not deep into the N6.1bn he has received to fund his re-election this November. Open accounting for their expenditures of these funds would be necessary to keep them in check and validate any further payments to the states.

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