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State governors give single condition to repay N614bn bailout loans from FG

Fayemi denies sacking 2000 Ekiti workers

Governors of states across the nation on Wednesday gave the condition under which the N614bn loan given to them by the Federal Government would be repaid.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi, at the forum’s meeting in Abuja on Wednesday night, said the governors were ready to pay but there should be a reconciliation of account.

According to him, “If you borrow, you pay. We are never averse to payment of loans under legal environment and we don’t want a situation that will put our financial system in jeopardy.

“However, governors believe that we are ready to pay, we also have a duty to ensure a reconciliation of account as far as moneys owed to states may be concerned,” he said.

He also added that “It is a storm in a tea cup when we read about governors refusing to pay. We don’t have such an issue, we are ready to pay.

Earlier, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had said that the Federal Government had resolved to recover the N614 billion loan facility from 35 states of the federation.

The minister revealed this when she briefed State House correspondents on the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, at the State House, Abuja.

Mrs. Ahmed said that each of the affected 35 states received N17.5 billion as bail out from the federal government.

She said that the council had already agreed to constitute a team to finalise modalities for commencement of repayment of the loan facility.

Fayemi also said that the forum received a presentation from Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), advising that the country should expect above average rainfall which had already caused severe flooding in several states.

He added that the forum also received briefing on meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and from the Inspector-General of Police “on the unlawful invasion” of some governors’ residences.

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He said that this was a direct violation of the immunity of the Governors.

“The forum was briefed by the chairman on the meeting between the forum and the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), the governors’ pledged to continue to collaborate with journalist.

”This collaboration would centre around the issues of security particularly when they work in hostile environments.

“The forum received a briefing on the status of the world bank assisted State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for results (SFTAS).

“The team from the World Bank assured the forum that all assessments now imply that states have improved in transparency ratings over the last quarter,” he said.

Fayemi said that the forum also received the new Country Director of the World Bank, Shubham Chaudhuri, whose tour of duty would begin on Oct. 1.

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