The Federal Government has released N243.79bn as the second tranche of Paris Club Refund to the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory.
According to Punch, the Director of Information in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Salisu Dambatta, confirmed the release in a statement issued on Tuesday night.
With the fresh release of the second tranche of N243.79bn, the amount so far disbursed to states as refund under the Paris Club loan is now N760.17bn.
He said the approval for the payments was done on May 4 by President Muhammadu Buhari in partial settlement of long-standing claims by state governments relating to over-deduction from their allocations from the Federation Account for external debts service arising between 1995 and 2002.
A breakdown of the N243.79bn showed that five states received the highest amount of N10bn each.States allocation
The states are Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Kano, and Rivers.
The total amount of N50bn received by these five states represents 20.5 per cent of the entire amount released under the second tranche.
Interestingly, these five states also got the highest chunk of N135.09bn when the first tranche of N516.38bn was released by the government in December last year.
Cross River, N6.07bn;
Ogun , N5.73bn;
Federal Capital Territory N684.86m.
The statement reads in part, “These payments which totalled N243, 795,465,195.20 were made to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory upon the approval of the President on May 4, 2017, in partial settlement of long-standing claims by state governments relating to over-deductions from their Federation Account Allocation Committee allocation for external debt service arising between 1995 and 2002.
“The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun explained that these debt service deductions were in respect of the Paris Club, London Club and Multilateral debts of the FG and states. While Nigeria reached a final agreement for debt relief with the Paris Club in October 2005, some states had already been overcharged.”
The funds, according to the statement, were released to the state governments as part of the wider efforts to stimulate the economy.
It added that the funds were specifically designed to support states in meeting salary and other obligations, thereby alleviating the challenges faced by workers.
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