Paris Club Refund: 9 states yet to benefit

The Federal Government has released the balance of the Paris Club refund to states, as 27 states of the federation have so far benefited from the latest refunds.

This was made known by the Director, Home Finance of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Olubunmi Siyanbola, disclosed this in Abuja Saturday while briefing journalists on the outcome of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for the month of November.

She informed newsmen that 27 states had so far benefited from the new tranche of refunds, with nine others yet to receive their share of the Paris Club refund.

Siyanbola said that the delay in releasing the refund to the nine states was only “a matter of process,” assuring Nigerians that they (remaining states) would get theirs as soon as the processes were completed.

The Director also said that one of the issues also discussed at the FAAC meeting was the accruals into the Excess Crude Account (ECA), which now stands at $2.317 billion as against $2.308 billion last month.

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Siyanbola did not disclose if the consultant that facilitated the refund had been duly paid or not.

On the development, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, attributed the marginal increase in the ECA “to interests that have to continue accruing for keeping the money for the future.”

Also on the question of whether or not the $1billion, which the state governors approved from the ECA to fight Boko Haram had been deducted, Idris stated that, “It is one thing for requests to be made, but there is a process for money to be taken out of an account.”

The AGF pointed out that the state governors as part owners of the ECA were perfectly in order to request that part of the money be used to secure the country, adding that “as part owners, there will be no objections and we will go with the directive.”