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27 states get another tranche of Paris Club refund.

Nine states including Delta, Ogun and Adamawa are to wait for now before collecting their own share of the third tranche of the Paris Club refunds.

However, 27 other states have collected their dues in what promises to be a rosy Christmas and New Year seasons for public servants in the benefiting states.

Much of the funds is expected to be utilized to offset arrears of workers’ salaries and pensions.

The release of the refunds to the states is in keeping with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that the states should get the money before Christmas to enable them pay workers and pensioners.

The Director Home Finance in the FMF, Mrs. Olubunmi Siyanbola, confirmed the payment yesterday at the end of the November 2017, Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting in Abuja.

But she declined to name the states that were paid and those that are to wait.

A total N609.959 billion was shared by the three tiers of government at the FAAC meeting which was shifted from Friday to yesterday.

This is N77.25 billion more than what they shared in October.

Some of the states are actually expected to refund excess cash previously paid to them.

But some oil producing states may get more than others having been short paid in the past.

Investigation showed that Delta, Ogun, Adamawa, and six others have some issues to clarify before drawing the final tranche of the refunds.

While a consultant has secured a court order in  August to freeze the bank account where Delta’s share of the refunds was domiciled, Ogun and Adamawa are said to have  been paid in excess of their dues and might need to reconcile their accounts.

A Federal Capital Territory High Court had frozen Delta account following an application by Mauritz Walton Nigeria over failure to pay consultancy fees.

The court mandated Zenith Bank to “create an escrow account for the frozen cash.”

A top source, privy to the controversy on the London-Paris Club said:” Some of the nine states have not met the requirements to qualify them for the drawing of the refunds. One of the key criteria is the reconciliation of the actual amount deducted and what such states deserve as refunds.

“Some of the states cannot even trace records much less reconciliation of records. The Federal Government is not a Father Christmas, they must come clean with their books.

Some states have defaulted in paying the consultants they hired. Instead of paying these consultants the 5% in the agreement, they paid them about 2% to 2.5%. They are now forcing these consultants to go to court.

“Some of the state governors were embarrassed by the agreements entered into by their predecessors on London-Paris Club refunds.

“For instance, Abia, Kogi, Adamawa, Taraba , Delta and Zamfara opted to pay 10% of their refunds to consultants.  But the states now see this rate as being on the high side.

A few other states offered between 12 and 20 per cent to their consultants. The breakdown is as follows: Ondo (12%);  Niger, Enugu, Imo, Anambra and Ebonyi (15%); and Edo, Bayelsa, and Oyo( 20%).

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About Olaniyi Apanpa (522 Articles)
Olaniyi Apanpa is a media practitioner and sports enthusiast. Contact at greenballmedia51@gmail.com

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