FG, states on collision course over N522bn Paris Club loan refund
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FG, states on collision course over N522bn Paris Club loan refund



Why recovering stolen funds is difficult --Osinbajo

Governors of the 36 states in Nigeria, have set the ball rolling for a possible rift with the Federal Government over the fallout on how the states spent the N522 billion Paris Club loan granted them.

The loan, which was guaranteed by the government at the centre, was shared to the states between December 2016 and January 2017.

Trouble began when the EFCC allegedly addressed a letter to each of the government demanding detailed explanation on the specific projects the said loan was expended on.

It was gathered that the investigation was sparked by a series of petitions that five of the governors used the said money to acquire mansions in their state capital.

There were also complaints that claims by the some governors that they used part of the money to settle outstanding arrears of salaries owed their workers was false.

But to most of the state governors, the loan was acquired to enable them carry on with their duties after the federal government had over-deducted their allocations for external debt servicing for the period of 1995 and 2002, when their administration had not come into office.

“The said loan was a life-line to the states, so the idea of setting EFCC against us is unacceptable,” Ayodele Fayose, the Ekiti State governor said on Tuesday.

Other governors vowed that they would use all arsenal within their reach, including courts to challenge any undue interference by the Federal government in the running of their states.

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But the EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said none of the governors had been found guilty of any wrong doing.

He stated: “The commission wishes to state unequivocally, that no state governor or the Senate President has been indicted so far by the investigation which is still at a preliminary stage.

“Also, insinuations about a cover-up by some officials of the commission are untrue as there is no incentive to do so.

“The commission implores the media to be circumspect in the reportage of this delicate issue in order not to jeopardize ongoing investigation, and be assured that they would be fully briefed of developments as soon as a breakthrough is achieved.”

A document obtained from the Debt Management Office (DMO) listed among the states that shared about N388 billion of the money as: Rivers, Lagos, Katsina, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom and Baylesa states, which received about N14.5billion each.

Imo, Niger, Jigawa and Borno states each got about N13 billion each, while Yobe, Plateau, Ogun, Abia and Zamfara each received N10 billion: Sokoto, Osun, Kogi, Kebbi, Edo, Cross River and Anambra states got about N11billion each and Benue and Bauchi states got N12billion each.

Other states are Ebonyi, N3.3bn; Adamawa, N4.8bn; Gombe, N8.3bn; Ekiti, N8.8bn; Enugu, N9.9bn; Kwara, N5.4bn; Ondo, N6.5bn; Nasarawa, N8.4bn; Ondo, N6.5bn; Taraba, N4.2bn; and Oyo, N7.2bn.

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