N522bn Paris Club refund: Govs Dares Magu


Governors of the 36 states of the federation, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum  (NGF), have said they are ready to face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged probe of N522 billion Paris Club refund bailout.
In December 2016, the  Federal Government released N522 billion Paris Club debt bailout to states, to enable them meet their obligations, including payment of salaries.
The governors made their position known in the wee hours of Thursday,  when they met  at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The EFCC is reportedly  investigating possible diversion of the bailout to states. A report published by an online news medium allged governors used consultants to divert the bailout.
In response, governors have said they await what EFCC would come up with.
Worried by the development, the Presidency ordered investigation into how the bailout was disbursed.

Fielding questions from State House Correspondents after the NGF meeting, Chairman and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, reiterated the governors are ready for the EFCC probe and expressed his colleagues’ support for the present administration’s war against corruption and insisted they would wait for the outcome of the anti-graft agency’s investigation.
“We discussed the Paris Club and London Club bailout and observed that EFCC said it is doing investigations. Yes, we support the federal government’s fight against corruption.
“We are waiting for the EFCC to come up with their result.”
A presidency source confirmed to Daily Sun that the federal government was worried that its efforts to ensure settlement of pension and salaries owed workers in the states was being sabotaged by likely diversion of the funds released for the purpose. It, therefore, expressed its determination to get to the bottom of the matter and, consequently, ordered relevant agencies to carry out a full scale probe to unravel any abuse the fund might have been subjected to.

Regardless, the EFCC has denied indicting the governors on the Paris Club bailout.
EFCC, in a statement on its twitter handle, @officialEFCC, said although investigation was ongoing on the reimbursement paid to state governments for excess Paris club deduction, it was yet to indict any governor, so far. The EFCC said the investigation remained at a preliminary stage, chiding insinuations of attempting to cover up for some of the officials of the commission.
N522bn Paris Club refund: Govs Dares Magu N522bn Paris Club refund: Govs Dares Magu Reviewed by Nene Sochi-Okereke on Friday, 17 February 2017 Rating: 5

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