The Federal Government has released a total of N243.8 billion to all 36 states and Abuja as the second tranche of the Paris Club refunds.
The payments were made after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the release in May, according to a statement by Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.
While discussing the payments on Tuesday, July 18, Adeosun said, the payments were “in partial settlement of long-standing claims by states governments relating to over-deductions from Federation Accounts for external debt service arising between 1995 and 2002.
“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 salaries and other obligations, thereby alleviating the challenges faced by workers.”
According to the statement by Adeosun, “The releases were conditional upon a minimum of 75 per cent being applied to the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions for states that owe salaries and pension.”
In a breakdown of how much individual states got, five states, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Kano and Rivers, got the most, with N10 billion each.
Gombe, Ekiti, Ebonyi, and Nasarawa got least with N4 billion each.
The full payments made to the states are as follows: Abia – N5.715 billion; Adamawa – N6.114 b; Akwa-Ibom – N10 billion; Anambra – N6.121 billion; Bauchi – N6.877 billion; Bayelsa N10 billion; Benue – N6.854 billion; Borno – N7.340 billion; Cross River – N6.075 billion; Delta – N10 billion; Ebonyi – N4. 508 billion; Edo – N6.091 billion; Ekiti – N4,772,836 billion, Enugu – N5.361 billion; Gombe – N4. 472 billion; Imo – N7 billion; Jigawa N7.107 billion; Kaduna – N7.721 billion; Kano – N10 billion; Katsina – N8.202 billion, Rivers – N10 billion.
Others are: Kebbi – N5,977,499,491.45; Kogi – N6,027,727,595.80; Kwara – N5,120,644,326.57; Lagos – N8,371,938,133.11; Nasarawa – N4,551,049,171.1; Niger – N7,210,793,154.95; Ogun – N5,739,374,694.4; Ondo – N7,003,648,314.28; Osun – N6,314,106,340.62; Oyo – N7,901,609,864.25; Plateau – N5,644,079,055.41; Sokoto – N6,441,128,546.76; Taraba – N5,612,014,491.52; Yobe – N5,413,103,116.59 Zamfara – N5,442,385,594.49; and FCT N684,867,500.04.
Controversy has trailed the disbursement of the first tranche of N522.74 billion earlier paid to the governors as many of them allegedly diverted the funds for other means.
It was reported in February that seven governors were being probed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for illegally diverting the refund.
Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Governor Abdulaziz Yari ofZamfara state, is under investigation by the EFCC, under suspicion of looting N500 million and $500,000 from the Paris Club refunds.
An Abuja Federal High Court has ordered an interim forfeiture of the monies the EFCC said it recovered from First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited, and Gosh Projects Limited.
The two firms were allegedly linked to Yari, with the anti-graft agency saying he masterminded the fraudulent diversion of the funds from the NGF’s bank account.