The Federal Government of Nigeria has listed four conditions to be met by the country’s sub-national governments (states) for approval to be given for the release of an outstanding $2.689 billion that is outstanding from an outstanding payment of what has become widely known as the Paris Club Refund.
In an explanatory statement made available to businessamlive.com on Tuesday by the ministry of finance and signed by Hassan Dodo, its director of information, it said the country’s Debt Management Office (DMO) led the reconciliation process under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Finance, adding that the conditions to be met by the states are: that the states make salary and staff related arrears a priority; that they make a commitment to commence repayment of budget support loans they received from the federal government in 2016; that they clear amounts due to the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI); and that they make a commitment to clear matching grants from the Universal Basic
Education Commission (UBEC) where some states have available funds which could be used to improve primary education and learning outcomes.
The statement was made by the ministry of finance as clarification on the much debated Paris Club Refund, approved for the 36 states of the federation following what was discovered to be over-deduction from the states’ accounts by the central government. The rest of the statement reads:
“It will be recalled that the issue of Paris Club loan over-deduction had been a long standing dispute between the Federal Government and the
State Governments which dated back to the period of 1995 to 2002. In response to the dispute, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that the claims of over-deduction should be formally and individually reconciled by the Debt Management Office (DMO). This reconciliation commenced in November 2016.
“As an interim measure to alleviate the financial challenges of the States during the 2016 recession, the President had approved that fifty percent (50%) of the amounts claimed by States be paid to enable the States clear salary and pension arrears. This was released between 1st December, 2016 and 29th September, 2017. This refund was part of the Government’s fiscal stimulus to ensure the financial health of
The ministry of finance also explained that the payment of the approved amount is to be made in phased tranches
to the states.