Nigeria federal government is ready to settle inherited debts to contractors and ex-Nigerian Airways’ workers through promissory notes and issuance of bonds issuance, acvoesing to Kemi Adeosun, the country’s finance minister.
This was made known on Tuesday when the minister appeared before the Ad-Hoc Committee of the Senate chaired by Francis Alimikhena, the deputy chief whip on “Promissory Note Programme and Bond Issuance”, in Abuja.
In a statement signed by Oluyinka Akintunde, the senior special adviser, media and communication to the Minister, Asdeosun explained that the debts owed to various classes of contractors, including the terminal benefits of ex-Nigerian Airways workers, would be settled through promissory notes and bonds issuance.
The minister stated that the unpaid Federal Government obligations constituted a drag on economic activity across many sectors, but the present administration led by Mohammadu Buhari was determined to address the problem.
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Adeosun listed the unpaid obligations to include obligations to pensioners and salary and promotion arrears to civil servants; obligations to contractors and suppliers who in turn, owe banks increasing the quantum of non-performing loans, and unpaid electricity bills by the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Others are: exporters owed funds under the Export Expansion Grant Scheme and unpaid refunds due to State Governments in respect of projects undertaken on behalf of the Federal Government.
“The Federal Government is working towards settling these legacy debts and by such move stimulatea the economy” Adeosun told members of the Ad-Hoc Committee.
The FG, according to her, has approved the issuance of promissory notes and bonds to settle its contractual obligations subject to the approval of the National Assembly.
On the ex-Nigerian Airways workers, the minister explained that their terminal benefits were reconciled and agreed at N45 billion following verification.
She debunked claims by the ex-workers that there was a presidential approval for the payment of terminal benefits of N45 billion to the workers.
“There has been a misconception in the media that the President had approved the payment of N45 billion terminal benefits to the workers. There is no presidential approval and no appropriation yet for the payment of N45 billion to the ex-workers,” she said.
Earlier, Mohammed Usman the representative of the accountant general of the federation, according to report seen by business a.m, had told members of the Senate’s Ad-Hoc Committee that the Government paid N34.2 billion to clear the promotion arrears to workers in the MDAs.
Usman, who is the director of funds in the office of the accountant general of the federation, added that the payment process was still ongoing.
“These payments were made to the accounts of the beneficiaries in the MDAs after detailed verification of all documents attached as proof of promotion,” he said.