Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:24 pm
The Benue State Government is expecting to be paid about N75billion as refund from over deductions of London and Paris Club debts. This was disclosed to newsmen in Makurdi today by the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr David Olofu.
He disclosed further that every state of the federation is a beneficiary of the refund. According to him, ‘the issue of refund of over deduction of Paris and London Clubs debts was not peculiar to Benue but all the states. at the time this administration came on board, the governors’ forum approached the president who agreed to pay the over deduction to the states’.
He explained that after preliminary talks, a consultant was engaged to reconcile the account of the states with those of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the federal government. The over deductions were said to have accrued from first line charge of the loan from London and Paris Clubs between 1995 and 2002.
Olofu disclosed further that at the initial stage it was agreed that 50 percent of the amount be paid to each of the states but added, ‘ due to paucity of funds, the federal government later approved the release of 25 percent of the said amount’.
“The approval has been given by federal government but as am speaking to you now (Monday) we are yet to receive alert to that effect. What we are expecting as refund by our local arrangement is between 181m and 186m dollars and Central Bank of Nigeria has agreed that the amount be paid at N305 to a dollar but for now, we are expecting something between 45m and 46m dollars which if converted at CBN approved rate is between N18b and N19b.
The money, according to him will be used to offset salary and pension arrears in the state.