The Federal Government, on Monday, September 24, 2018, ordered recall of the second tranche of the London and Paris Club Refunds disbursed to five states, amounting to about $2.7 billion (N972 billion.)
No reason for the recall was given. The states involved are Delta, Imo, Benue, Rivers and Osun. But the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, has called for an emergency meeting to challenge the action which some of them believe was politically motivated.
According to Vanguard, the recall was done directly from the states’ accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
However, many of the states confirmed that the money had already been spent mostly on payment of workers’ salary arrears.
Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, said he directed the commencement of payment of salary arrears, pensions and gratuity from the N14.9 billion Paris Club refund received by the state to pave way for speedy payment of the funds to workers and retirees.
Adelani Baderinwa, the Osun State Commissioner for Information, claimed the government was yet to be informed and cannot speak on the refund because the Paris Club Refund has been spent on workers’ salary.
NGF emergency meeting
Meanwhile, Gov. Abdul’Aziz Yari Abubakar, the Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, has called an emergency meeting of the Forum for today, Tuesday September 25, 2018, at the NGF Secretariat in Abuja by 3:00 pm.
The meeting has just one agenda, CBN’s recall of the London and Paris Club Refunds to States. Yari, in the invite to the other governors, requested them to come along with at least three (3) months evidence of salary payment as well as evidence of any challenge related to the payment of salaries in their states.
Recall that the Federal Government said that the states should clear backlog of salaries and other related staff arrears before they would be able to access the remaining $2.7 billion Paris Club Refund.