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EFCC Probe of N522bn Paris club loan refund: Govs summon emergency meeting

Nigerian governors have summoned an emergency meeting over the ongoing probe of how they spent the N522bn Paris Club loan refund which was shared to the states in December 2016, by the Federal Government.

Mr. Bayo Okauru, the Director General of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, stated on Monday.

Okauru said the governors decided to meet in order to clarify some of the issues being raised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in its investigations.

He, also said the the NGF had nothing to hide in its account.

The Nigerian NewsDirect learnt that EFCC investigators had earlier invited the three signatories to the account of the NGF to its office, where they were questioned on the running of the forum’s account.

The EFCC had earlier said on Monday that it was at the earlier stage of the investigation of the 36 state governors in connection with the N522bn Paris Club loan refund, which was shared to the states by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government had, in December, 2016, approved N522.74bn to be paid to the 36 states of the federation as part of the reimbursement for the over-deductions on the Paris Club loan.

The state governments had submitted their claims of over-deductions for external debt servicing arising between 1995 and 2002 to the Federal Government due to the first line charge deductions from the federal allocations.

The EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Monday said “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.

The commission hereby 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.Some of the states reportedly shared their portions with their local governments in order to settle the backlog of salaries and some of the state-owned debts.

However, the money was not shared evenly among the states, as of January, N388bn of the money had been released to the states.

Akwa Ibom, Baylesa Kaduna, Katsina, Lagos,  and Rivers states were said to have received N14.5bn each while Borno, Imo, Jigawa and Niger states received about N13bn each.

Abia, Ogun, Plateau, Yobe, and Zamfara states were said to have received N10bn each while Anambra, Cross River, Edo, Kebbi, Kogi, Osun, and Sokoto states got about N11bn each and Bauchi and Benue states reportedly got about N12bn each.

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

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