Breakdown Of What Each State Received From Third Paris Club Refund

Nigerian Government has released a state-by-state breakdown of third tranche of Paris Club refund.

The money was released alongside the allocations from the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).

Idris Ahmed, accountant general of the federation, who announced this in a statement, said it was done so that Nigerians could have a better Christmas.

A statement from the ministry of finance said these payments totalled N243, 795,465,195.20.

Paris Club refund is a 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.

Two tranches had been released earlier. Below is exactly how much every state got:

1. ABIA 5,715,765,871.48
2. ADAMAWA 6,114,300,352.68
3. AKWA-IBOM 10,000,000,000.00
4. ANAMBRA 6,121,656,702.34
5. BAUCHI 6,877,776,561.25
6. BAYELSA 10,000,000,000.00
7. BENUE 6,854,671,749.25
8. BORNO 7,340,934,865.32
9. CROSS RIVER 6,075,343,946.93
10. DELTA 10,000,000,000.00
11. EBONYI 4,508,083,379.98
12. EDO 6,091,126,592.24
13. EKITI 4,772,836,647.08
14. ENUGU 5,361,789,409.66
15. GOMBE 4,472,877,698.19
16. IMO 7,000,805,182.97
17. JIGAWA 7,107,666,706.76
18. KADUNA 7,721,729,227.55
19. KANO 10,000,000,000.00
20. KATSINA 8,202,130,909.85
21. KEBBI 5,977,499,491.45
22. KOGI 6,027,727,595.80
23. KWARA 5,120,644,326.57
24. LAGOS 8,371,938,133.11
25. NASARAWA 4,551,049,171.12
26. NIGER 7,210,793,154.95
27. OGUN 5,739,374,694.46
28. ONDO 7,003,648,314.28
29. OSUN 6,314,106,340.62
30. OYO 7,901,609,864.25
31. PLATEAU 5,644,079,055.41
32. RIVERS 10,000,000,000.00
33. SOKOTO 6,441,128,546.76
34. TARABA 5,612,014,491.52
35. YOBE 5,413,103,116.59
36. ZAMFARA 5,442,385,594.49
37. FCT 684,867,500.04
TOTAL 243,795,465,195,20

Osun Gets N6.3bn From Third Paris Club Refund

The State Government of Osun has received a sum of six point three billion (6.3 billion) naira as the third tranche of the Paris Club refund.

Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Bola Oyebamiji made this known yesterday.

Oyebamiji disclosed that, the Apportionment Committee headed by revered labour icon, Hassan Sumonu will sit over the fund and make necessary decision on the fund and will be disbursed as it is usual.

The Commissioner stated that, the committee will act quickly to put the fund at the disposal of the entire people of the state.

Speaking on the development, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa said the availability of the fund at this time is the Lord’s doing.

According to him, God has always been making things possible when it seems there was not going to be anyway. God has eased off the financial problem which seemed intractable by his miracle with the arrival of the Paris Club refund.

Baderinwa said civil servants and the general people of the state will a financial ease of life when the N6.3billion is disbursed for the benefit of all.

He thanked the active and non active public servants for their cooperation and support to government since the country was ran into financial crisis. He urged them not to relent in this virtuous behaviour that has made the progress and development of the state as stakeholders.

Baderinwa said he was sure that a new dawn of abundance and happiness will soon come to Osun where life will be more abundant for all.

Paris Club Refund Crisis Stalls Payment Of Salaries, NNPC Blamed

Distressed states may not be able to pay their workers from the Paris Club refund before Christmas as originally planned as the refund had been stalled by a Consultant over unpaid fees.

The consultant has filed a suit against the states at Federal High Court Abuja for reneging in payment of the consultancy fee for services rendered in recovering Paris Club refund.

The 36 state governors were supposed to pay the consultant five per cent consultancy fee.

Further withdrawals from the Paris Club refund by the states government may have been stalled due to the court case.

A highly placed source at the Presidency, told NAN on Friday night that the consultant rendered services in relation to the sharing of the fund.

The source said before this new court case, efforts were in top gear to release the balance of the Paris Club refunds to states to pay workers’ salaries all over the country before Christmas.

“The payment of the Paris Club refunds is at the final stages. It will be paid to enable the workers enjoy the Christmas and New Year festive seasons,” the source said.

President Muhammadu Buhari last month directed all state governors to utilise the balance of 50 per cent Paris Club refund to settle unpaid salaries owed workers before Christmas.

To remove any hitches, he directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ministry of Finance, and the Budget Office of the Federation to work out how the outstanding fund would be paid before the end of 2017.

The payment began in December 2016 with the release of about N522.74 billion to all 36 states as first tranche of the Paris Club refund.
The federal government later in July 2017, released N243.8 billion as second tranche.

The funds were released following protests by states against over deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.

Meanwhile, the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting scheduled for Friday was put off till Saturday because stakeholders had not received the component statement from NNPC.

One of the state Commissioners for Finance, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that for the second time, the NNPC is late in remitting funds into the Federation Account.

“NNPC is the major cause of all these things. It has not brought in money just like last month.
“Last month, the state governors insisted that the NNPC must bring in money before it later brought out N30 billion from Excess Crude Account (ECA) before the last FAAC could hold.

”Again this month, the CBN and Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) said they have not received component statement from NNPC.

”’This indicates that NNPC had not paid money into the Federation Account. Without that money we have to wait till tomorrow for FAAC meeting to hold.

“If the component statement is sent from NNPC, it will take about six hours before the stakeholders can go through it” the commissioner said.

NAN

EDITORIAL: Workers And Paris Club Refunds

At a time several states are nearly at a tipping point financially, the prospect of an imminent cash rain ought to stoke some excitement. So it was on Monday when President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, Minister of Economic Planning and Budget, Udoma Udo Udoma and Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun to negotiate with the governors, with a view to settling their outstanding Paris Club refunds. For long-suffering workers across the states of the federation and the governors most of who have been (sometimes) needlessly maligned over a crisis that was not their making, it comes as a soothing balm to their pains.

Yet again, it is a season of great expectations – and potentially one of restiveness, particularly of workers and pensioners. Indeed, there are, already, countless proposals on what the funds should be used for. A somewhat preponderant position would appear to suggest that the refunds should be deployed to clear the arrears of wages and pensions in the states – as if that is all there is to the business of governance.

Just like the last previous interventions, we must again warn at the temptation to substitute a palliative or placebo for therapy. Clearly, if there are any lessons to be taken from the earlier interventions, it is the fact that the problems facing the states as a whole are far deeper, in fact, more complex, than any superficial interventions – no matter how many multiple times – can solve.

Fact is – the states aren’t getting anything that they should not ordinarily be entitled to were to be a truly functional federation. Whether it is the so-called bailout or refund of the overpayment on the Paris Club loans, the states should ordinarily be able to enjoy such fiscal leeway as befitting their status as federating entities – drawing upon the federal support only in situations of grave emergencies. To the extent that the latest crisis is itself a derivative of dysfunctions of our federalism, it seems only inevitable that the federal government will be called up when necessary to solve the structural mess – until such a time the basis of the problem is dealt with.

This of course takes us to the perennial restiveness of the workers.

Clearly, while the workers in particular may have been badly hit by the current crisis, the idea that the entire cash be handed out to them to clear the arrears of wages seems, quite frankly, ludicrous. Agreed, the workers deserve their due; but so does the rest of the citizens – farmers, artisans, market men and women and non-wage workers – deserve to be served from the same pot not just because their welfare also depend on that, but because the ability of the state to renew itself as a way to guarantee its future prosperity is assured only when portion of that cash is invested in physical infrastructure. That is the way to go.

What the times therefore call for is proper understanding. Neither the time to raise unnecessary expectations nor should it be an occasion for blackmail or needless stoking of tensions. With good faith on the side of the workers and the state governments, it should be possible to forge necessary compromises to ensure that the states move forward. To the extent that the current challenges tug at the heart of the lopsided federal practice which deny the states of their just dues as one would expect in a true federation, it has become inevitable to re-balance the Nigerian federation by devolving both economic and political powers to the states, to ensure that they are less beholden to the centre, and to make them truly productive as against sharing entities.

President Buhari Directs Disbursement Of Final Tranche Of Paris Club Refund

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma; and the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to work with state governors to ensure the payment of outstanding Paris and London Clubs refunds before the end of the year.

The President gave the directive at a meeting he had with state governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday.

According to information posted on one of the Presidency’s twitter handles, @NGRPresident, the meeting featured discussions on the nation’s economy, workers’ welfare as well as Federal-State relations, among others.

“President @MBuhari has directed the Ministers of @FinMinNigeria and Budget & National Planning and Governor @cenbank to commence negotiations with the Governors Forum to enable payment of outstanding Paris & London Club refunds, before the end of the year,” the information read.

See the tweet:

President @MBuhari has directed the Ministers of @FinMinNigeria and Budget & National Planning and Governor @cenbank to commence negotiations with the Governors Forum to enable payment of outstanding Paris & London Club refunds, before the end of the year.

Of Retirees And Paris Club Loan Refunds

By Isaac Olusesi

Think of what it would mean if everybody is of the same Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and then, think of what it would have meant if everybody were to be part of the epidemic protests by retirees, playing political blitzkrieg and putting all manner of spanners in the sure disbursement of the Paris Club Loan refunds in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). By that, the pensioners in some states in Nigeria have only drawn the sword of partisan wrangling from the scabbard and appropriated the task of aggressive mobilisation of themselves and the citizens against the state governments.

And as the nation has not recorded really impressive growth and development, such over no space ambitiously endemic protests over money would not trade-off harsh realities of expedient hardship and sacrifice the development process entails, but could regrettably push the State Government to the elbow room of facile options in the loan refunds’ disbursement.

It is important here that money is, but one element in the complex process of growth and development, other crucial elements including discipline and rational resource management will propel the states’ economies to self-sustaining, away from the  fragility of their current fabrics in the face of global economic recess and tight reins in Nigeria. This is the more reason Nigerians across the federated states must have to make necessary sacrifice for real economic growth and development.

In the State of Osun exampli gratia, retirees ironically ignited thundering rumble of ear-blocking rancour, bitterness and precipitated high decibel of ear-shattering murmurings over the loans refunds. Osun retirees under the aegis of 2011/2012 Pensioners Forum have clearly acquired the reputation and attribute of incomprehensibility, as the forum last month, June 2017, characteristically acted political opposition to the Rauf Aregbesola government in the state when its members ad nauseam, swooped on the office of the Governor, violated the serenity of the premises, chanted war songs, and openly incapacitated the civil servants on duty. The protesters   infra dignitatem, misled the Osun public on the loan refunds when they claimed albeit, erroneously that the 2nd tranche of the loan refunds had been released to Aregbesola by the federal government and that he had allegedly diverted the refunds. The Osun people’s aspirations increased dramatically in more ways than one as consequence.

But the Osun retirees goofed around and goofed off! Their claim was a flawed reflection of the abysmal, dizzy and miserable plunge into the nation’s current affairs, a dismal, lopsided and gloomy profile that practically misguided the general public, a preponderance of opinion against the retirees’ street protest. The claim was nothing but a flotsam of damaged truth, debris of misinformation, baseless allegation, unpolished lie and a mere chunk of noises from the supposedly senior citizens of the state. It is case of the retirees sinning against Osun than being sinned against.

And when a few days ago, Monday July 17, 2017 the 2nd tranche of the loan refunds came and Osun government promptly announced the receipt of the refunds, the governor literally escaped the retirees’ scalpel. But the protesting retirees had themselves shamefully pulled down from the pedestal of seeming integrity to the denizen of shame. The government convincingly declared its commitment to deploy the refunds “in the best interest of the concerned stakeholders.”

What care from the Osun pensioners with the proficiency of a stubborn customer, only oiled the wheel of hypocrisy and raised the dogged hypocrisy to the status of religious virtues. Government’s “demand of unreserved apology from the retirees for wrongly accusing the governor” is needless. But because Osun would no longer stand karat nugget of drivel and Babel, as though, Osun of recent is fast getting used to blabber months, noises of confusion sewn into threads of street protests, the direct appeal should have been that the pensioners should be honest and patriotic in their dealings with the government.

Street protesters, agitators, the world over are into heinous and treacherous crime and have a noose dangling above their recalcitrant heads. It is for them that the caution: “make haste slowly” was invented. The Osun protesting retirees ought to always make cautious efforts at letting-loose gently pent-up anger to conserve what remains of the energy in them for survival in these days of global austerity and diseases when old people of the world are becoming emaciated and meals are oblong instead of square. “Silence, for the elderly is wisdom…..” said Thomas Fuller (1608-1661) an English Clergyman, author and wit, in his first book of sermons: Joseph’s Party Colored Coat (1640).

The tidal wave of street protests also stifle both the individual retiree’s initiative and enterprising spirit of dialogue and progress, capable of developing the requisite perception and strategy to remove whatever contradictions identified in the Osun system. Otherwise, the protest by the retirees was a vivid example of poor peddling. But Osun people would not succumb again to what Antonia Gramsci (1891-1937) called the “retirees’ war of maneuver” in one of his several writings on the political unrests in Italy, following the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Gramsci of a lower middle-class family at Ales, the Italian Island of Sardina, was an Italian Communist party leader, Marxist political theorist and a journalist of the socialist newspaper, AVANTI.  He attended University of Turin.

Commendably, Aregbesola has assumed greater stakes in the Osun enterprised. In these years in the saddle of the state affairs, he has rather acted the monkey and actually pleased the collective people of Osun in practical terms, not anyone in particular. His banish Poverty, Hunger and Unemployment (BanPHU) through economic and social policies and programmes have re-enacted the Mikhail Gobachev’s efforts, the Russian glasnost and perestroika projects. The glasnost stood for openness, and perestroika for restructuring.

And like the Gobachev revolution, the Aregbesola  BanPHU revolution has removed the contradictions inherent in the Osun system. His infrastructural projects in all the nooks and crannies of the state also connect the Osun economy and wealth to attract investments. His government’s debt manifest has not even over burden the state. The debt’s onus probandi, is the massive development of physical, social, cultural and political structures and programme across the state pro bono publico, for the public good, aided by his drive, consistency, focus, positive energy and steely courage. Thus, the concern of all in Osun should be for accelerated growth and development of the state.

Good! Today in Osun, the official profligate way of life, official squadernania, official mindless waste of the spendthrift years and official easy options had all gone with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesteryears (2003-2010) in the governance of the state.

EDITORIAL: Kudos To Transparency

We must acknowledge the openness of the government of the State of Osun for its excellent communication on the received receipt of the Paris Club refunds.

A statement signed by Semiu Okanlawon, Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor laid it bare in stating that  “The Government of Osun wishes to announce that it has received the second tranche of the Paris Club refunds.

The refunds, totaling N6.314bn, was paid into the state coffers on Monday, July 17, 2017.

In line with our government’s promise to utilise the resources of this state in the best interest of our people, we hereby restate our commitment to this promise as we begin shortly transparent deployment on our commitments to the concerned stakeholders”.

The transparency is commendable and worthy of emulation by those states who have inadvertently given the unfortunate misconception that there might have been no refund. The openness also brilliantly checkmate those who are forever seeking opportunities to fish in contrived muddy waters.

A good example here is those being used by self-seeking professional political miscreants and opportunists under the cloak of being ‘pensioners’. Their so called protest was politically sponsored.

It is interesting to note that about a month ago, this same set of pensioners accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of collecting and diverting the second tranche of Paris loan refund, which they claimed had been released to Osun State by the Federal government.

The transparency of the government has now proved that this was all politically induced, frankly an unreserved apology to the government as well as the people of the state, is very much in order.

Transparency helps and we urge the state government of Osun to continue in this way in the transparent deployment of its commitment to the people of the state.

Governors Resolve to Pay Salaries, Pension Arrears

The 36 governors have resolved to pay backlog of salaries and pension as soon as the next tranche of Paris-London Club loan refunds are made.

This decision was arrived at in Abuja at a meeting hosted on Thursday night by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum and governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar.

The governors met in anticipation of the release of the other half of the Paris-London Club refund.

The money has been gratuitously approved for payment by Acting President Yemi Osibanjo.

The funds are expected to hit the states accounts within the month.

The governors are not oblivious of the hue and cry over the non-payment of the backlog of salaries and pension and the precarious predicament of the Nigerian workers.

The deliberated on the matter and concluded that in order to set the country on the path of growth, something immediate should be done to ameliorate workers’ plight by offsetting the backlog of their pay and emoluments.

“We all agreed that a substantial amount from the next tranche of the Paris-London refunds be used in the settlement of workers salary and pension arrears,” Abubakar said.

Out of the N522.74 billion owed, N388.304 was paid to states last December.

Similarly, the governors committed to the verification of the input of all the consultants who claim to be working towards the harmonization of the refunds regarding what is due to which state, since 2005 when the demand for the refunds commenced.

At the moment, there are litigations from more than ten different consultants still agitating for settlement for their roles in the quest to have the refunds made to states.

In this regard, a committee was set up under the headship of Governor Femi Akeredolu of Ondo state.

Members are the governors of Bauchi, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar; Sokoto’s Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; Plateau’s Simon Lalong; Bayelsa’s Seriaki Dickson; Rivers’ Nyesom Wike and former Accountant General of the Federation and Gombe state governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo.

This committee is expected to finally provide a solution to the demands by consultants on the Paris-London Club refunds to states.

The forum also resolved to work harmoniously in a manner that would transcend all political affiliations so that all governors would speak with one voice on issues of national importance.

To achieve this a committee made up of the Governors of Imo, Bayelsa, Abia, Ekiti, Kano, Nasarawa and Bauchi was constituted to work for the “reconciliation of the forum and the betterment of the country.”

NAN

No Paris Club Debt Money Stolen- NGF

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Monday said no money was stolen or embezzled from the Paris Club debt refunds to states or from any other source.

The Head, Media and Public Affairs at NGF Secretariat, Mr Abulrazque Barkindo, said this in a statement in Abuja.

Barkindo denied allegation that Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara and Chairman of the Forum, was building a three-million dollar hotel from monies stolen from refunds to states.

Barkindo said that the false allegation gave cause for worry.

“The reports contain harmful, damaging and libelous insinuations which remain largely unsubstantiated, despite the fact that it attributes the leaks to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) officials in Lagos.

“Governor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar has said emphatically that he does not even own a plot of land in Lagos not to talk of a hotel.’’

He said some EFCC officials in Lagos claimed that “they have found a hotel being constructed by Gov. Yari with three million dollars he stole from London-Paris Club loan refund to Nigerian states”.

He also quoted the report as saying that “apart from the $3million, Gov. Yari also diverted N500 million from the Paris Club refund to pay off a loan”,

Barkindo described all the claims as wrong, harmful, libelous and misleading disclosures.

“Gov. Yari is not building any hotel in Lagos nor were any monies stolen or embezzled from the Paris-London Club refunds to states or from any other source.’’

Bakindo said that an online medium quoted the EFCC extensively as its source.

He said that the NGF was alarmed that the EFCC continued to feed the media fibs at the expense of its hard-earned reputation as anti-graft agency that Nigerians used to respect.

“This is perhaps why the EFCC has lost most of the high-profile corruption cases at the law courts after it had unfairly stage-managed media trials and caused their victims personal pain and public umbrage.

“This report, typical of most of the exclusive leaks that are becoming characteristic of the sources that court some sections of the media, lacks detail and compelling evidence to be fit to print.

Barkindo said that the sources were courageous enough to mention a hotel in Lekki area of Lagos but gave neither a street name nor any specific information on the property to give credibility to the allegations.

“This does no service to any investigation nor does it help the development of our country Nigeria.

“The media, we all know, is entitled to perform its duties as watchdog of society, which is enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“It is not, however, entitled to make unfair attacks, based on unfounded, false and unsubstantiated allegations against responsible public office holders.’’

NAN

How We’ll Utilise Next Paris Club Refund – Gov. Ahmed

The Kwara State government says it will use its share of the second tranche of the Paris Club refund to assist local government councils to offset part of their outstanding salary arrears and on critical infrastructure projects in the State.
The State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed disclosed this on Saturday during the monthly meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ilorin, the State capital.
Governor Ahmed said the State government is expected to receive another 25% of its claims as its share of the Paris club refunds.
He added that once the money is received, the government will apply it towardssalary arrears at the local governments and also fund infrastructure development.
Alhaji Ahmed noted that the government is committed to bridging  the infrastructure deficit in the State in order to make it more attractive for investment and enhance the people’s welfare.
It will be recalled that the State government released the sum of N3.4bn to the local councils as their share of the first tranche received by the State.

Exposed! How Osun Spent N11.7bn Paris Club Refund

In December 2016, when the state government of Osun paid out the sum of N13,645,546,673.04 to clear salaries, leave bonuses and pension arrears of four (4) months, many did wonder how the Paris Club refund received a month earlier was allocated.

However, the Accountant General of the state of Osun, Mr. Akintayo Kolawole, has revealed, how the state government expended the sum of N11,744,237,793.56 received from the federal government in November 2016 as first tranche of the Paris Club Refund.

Speaking with Journalists at his office in Osogbo, Mr. Kolawole revealed that the Osun Revenue Apportionment Committee headed by Comrade Hassan Sunmonu agreed for the total Paris Club Refund to be spent on clearing workers salary arrears.

“The revenue apportionment committee agreed that the Paris refund be used in paying salaries and that the sum of N1.9bn be added by the state government to augment salary payment to local government workers,” Mr. Kolawole noted.

Speaking on how a total of N13.6bn was used in paying salary arrears, Mr Kolawole stated that, “the sum of N8,519,437.233.43 was paid out as salaries for September, October, November and December. Similarly, the sum of N924,676,305.24 was paid out as leave bonuses for the four months, while the sum of N2,496,605,100.64 was paid in pensions for the same period.”

Explaining how the state spent above the N11.74bn received as Paris Club Refund, the accountant general noted that the sum of N1,704,828,033.73 was transferred to the ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for the payment of salaries at that level.

When contacted, State Chairman of the Triangular Pensioners Association, Prince Rotimi Adelugba confirmed all pensioners in the state received four months of pension arrears as agreed with the state government in December 2016.

Other workers in the state commended the government for making workers’ welfare its priority.