From Uche Usim, Abuja
In its efforts to set records straight, the Federal Government yesterday released a state- by -state breakdown of the first tranche of Paris Club refunds paid to date.
So far, N516, 384,636,883.81 has been disbursed to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Abia got N11, 431,531,742.97 while Zamfara was paid N10, 884,771,188.99.
FCT got N1, 369,735,000.09.
According to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the disbursement followed the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari on November 21, 2016 in partial settlement of long standing claims by state governments relating to over-deductions from their Federation Account allocation for external debt service arising between 1995 and 2002.
“These debt service deductions are 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.
“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”, she explained.
The minister further noted that a detailed report was being compiled for presentation to the acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as part of the process for approval for the release of any subsequent tranches.