FG grants Nigeria Governors’ Forum request to halt deductions, repay Paris Club debts

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has received confirmation from the federal government that their request to cease further deductions from states’ accounts for Paris Club debt obligations has been granted.

The decision was announced in a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the 7th emergency meeting of the forum, held in Abuja on Tuesday.

During the meeting, Aminu Tambuwal, the outgoing NGF chairman and governor of Sokoto state, shared the positive development.

He said, “The minister of finance has granted the request of the forum to immediately stop further deductions from the accounts of states to meet local government councils’ London Paris Club obligations, and the monies deducted so far will be paid back to the states.”

In addition to this significant decision, the federal government has committed to reimbursing the amounts already deducted. This assurance brings relief to the states that have been affected. The NGF has been actively advocating for fair and transparent financial management, particularly regarding the allocation of resources to the states.

Furthermore, a change in leadership was announced during the meeting, as AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the governor of Kwara state, emerged as the new chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum through a consensus. Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo state, has been appointed as the vice-chairman.

Expressing satisfaction with recent activities, the forum members commended the success of the induction program conducted for new and returning governors between May 14 and 19, 2023. The program aimed to equip governors with the necessary knowledge and tools to effectively carry out their responsibilities.

The NGF reiterated its commitment to promoting collaboration among the states through enhanced peer review mechanisms, fostering sub-national level learning, and strengthening relationships with the federal government and other institutions. These initiatives are crucial for driving effective governance and facilitating the development of the country as a whole.

In recent times, there has been controversy surrounding consultancy fees totaling $418 million from the Paris Club refund. The NGF previously stated its resolve to pursue legal action against the disbursement of these funds and the issuance of promissory notes to consultants by the federal government and the Debt Management Office (DMO). The forum emphasized the importance of ensuring that state resources are not unjustly or illegally allocated to a select few under the guise of consultancy services.

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