Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
State governors on the platform of Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) have rejected the proposed plan by the Federal Government to extend the repayment period of its budget support to state governments from 20 years to 30 years for the N614 billion budget support facility.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who briefed State House correspondents at the end of National Economic Council meeting presided over Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said based on the extension, state government monthly repayment will reduce from N252 million monthly to N162 million monthly.
Ahmed who briefed correspondents alongside Anambra State governor, Willy Obiano; Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun; Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Sule, and Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the Federal Government had made the first and second months, N252 million monthly deductions, in September and October, based on the 20 years repayment period.
Following the outcry of state governors, another repayment schedule plan extending the year to 30 years and monthly repayment of N162 million was presented to NEC on Tuesday.
But she said that the state governors were still not satisfied with the repayment extension to 30 years.
She said: “The budget support facility was initially for 20 years repayment period. And when we made the first deduction in September, the states had complained that the amount deducted, which was N252 million, was too harsh.
“So, since then, the Central Bank of Nigeria, which is the lender, has revised the condition to make the repayment period longer. And so, the new repayment period is 30 years. And this means that the states will be paying monthly N162 million. But again today, the states still were not satisfied with the condition.
“So, we are expecting that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, CBN and the states will engage again with a view to having the CBN further revise the condition to reduce the monthly repayment burden.”