The governors of the 36 states of the federation have asked the federal government to release the 50 percent balance of Paris Club refund by November.
The federal government has disbursed N760.17 billion, paid in two tranches, to the 36 states as refund under the Paris Club loan.
Paris Club refund is a partial settlement of long-standing claims by state governments relating to over-deductions from their federation account allocation committee (FAAC) allocation for external debt service arising between 1995 and 2002.
On Tuesday, seven governors met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Those in the delegation were Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi) and Eric Igwe, deputy governor of Ebonyi.
Addressing state house correspondents after the meeting, Yari, who is chairman of the governors’ forum, disclosed that a demand of the Paris refund was made.
“We are here on behalf of the 36 states governors and this is a result of the collective decision to see the president after the National Economic Council meeting last month,” he said.
“Our mission here is simple, we are here to thank Mr President for his concern about the state of the economy and for giving us support ranging from bailouts, restructuring our debts, Paris club exit payment.
“We also told him that we think that it was because of his decision to grant us bailouts and pay the refund of the Paris Club that we got out of recession.
“We thanked the president for that and at the same time, as a father, we said to him Mr President you remember that in 2016, we presented to you the numbers of Paris exit funds which we agreed, and you directed we be paid 50percent and the remaining 50 percent open reconciliation.
“Reconciliation has been on since 2016, we are hoping that both the Debt Management Office (DMO), minister of finance, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), and our consultants are concluding this reconciliation by November, so therefore we want to crave your indulgence so that we can factor the numbers in our 2018 budget, so that we can use it for projects and other recurrent spending according to the specification given by our respective house of assemblies and that’s why we are here.
“We are going to work on the numbers when he returns from his trip (Buhari will be leaving for Turkey on Wednesday), we are going to follow up this meeting with him so that we can conclude on what is going to be done next.”