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Monday, June 12, 2017

Top 10 beneficiaries from FG refund on Paris Club loan



The oil-rich state of Rivers is leading in the top 10 beneficiaries from the recently released Federal Government (FG) refunds on Paris Club loan over-deductions between 1995 and year 2002, ITRealms exclusively reports.

ITRealms recalls that FG at the weekend released a State-by-State breakdown as the first tranche of Paris Club refunds paid to date.

This is coming as the top five states are from the Niger Delta region of the country, followed by Kano and Lagos in the sixth and seventh positions respectively, just as the remaining in the top 10 beneficiaries are from the north.

These include Katsina, Kaduna, Borno and Niger States in that order, whereas no state in the eastern region made it to the top 10, however, Imo State made it in top 12 with the sum of N14,001,610,365.94 billion.

Within the period under review, ITRealms gathered that between 1995 and 2002 that Rivers accrued refund amounted to 34, 925,785,322.06; Delta -27,606,963,362.46; Akwa-Ibom - 25,981,255,165.12; Bayelsa - 24,895,696,347.55; Kano - 21,740,390,362.48; Lagos - 16,743,876,266.21; Katsina - 16,404,261,819.71; Kaduna - 15,443,458,455.10; Borno         - 14,681,869,730.63; and Niger - 14,421,586,309.89.

ITRealms also reports exclusively that the top 10 collectively got refund worth N212,845,143,141.21 out of the N516.38bn (N516,384,636,883.81) shared among the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, upon the approval of Present Muhammadu Buhari on November 21st 2016 in partial settlement of long standing claims by State Governments relating to over-deductions from their Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocation for external debt service arising between 1995 and 2002.

These debt service deductions were made in respect of the Paris Club, London Club and Multilateral debts of the FG and States. While Nigeria reached a final agreement for debt relief with the Paris Club in October 2005, some States had already been overcharged. 

Director, Information at the Federal Ministry of Finance, Salisu Na’Inna Dambatta, told ITRealms, the funds were released to State Governments as part of the wider efforts to stimulate the economy and were specifically designed to support states in meeting salary and other obligations, thereby alleviating the challenges faced by workers. 

The releases were conditional upon a minimum of 50 per cent being applied to the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions. The Federal Ministry of Finance is reviewing the impact of these releases on the level of arrears owed by State Governments.

Further, ITRealms reports that a detailed report is underway for presentation to the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as part of the process for approval for the release of any subsequent tranches. 

Remmy Nweke/ED, Ops
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