Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
governors under the platform of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have rejected the proposed plan by the Federal Government to extend the repayment period of its budget support to state government from 20 to 30 years for the N614 billion budget support facility.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who briefed State House Correspondents at the end of National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said based on the extension, state governments’ monthly repayment will reduce from N252 million monthly to N162 million monthly.
Ahmed, who briefed alongside Anambra Governor, Willy Obiano, Ogun Governor, Dapo Abiodun, Nasarawa Governor, Abdullahi Sule, and Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the Federal Government has made the first and second month’s N252 million monthly deductions in September and October, based on the 20 years repayment period.
Following the outcry of governors, another repayment schedule plan extending the year to 30 years and monthly repayment of N162 million was presented to NEC yesterday.
But she said governors were still not satisfied with the repayment extension to thirty years.
“So, we are expecting that the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, CBN and the states will engage again with the view of having the CBN further revise the condition to reduce the monthly repayment burden.”
On budget estimate for the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and other related activities for 2019, Ahmed said she presented to NEC a memorandum seeking its approval of N775, 060, 080.00 budget estimates.
She drew the attention of the Council to the financial request by FAAC Sub-Committee on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) Implementation to execute its Post Implementation Support programmes to the three tires of Government.
On the threat by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to go on strike if varsities were not removed from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the minister said she had not seen a strike notice from the union.
She insisted that she would only implement the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on the initiative.
“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria directed that every agency of government, every staff must be on IPPIS. And my job is to comply with the President’s directive. That is what I do and we are going to do that. It is a pity if ASUU carries out this strike because what ASUU is saying now means that they must be treated different from all other staff of the government of Nigeria who are also on IPPIS.