Disbursement of bailout funds to states begins
• Kwara, Zamfara are first beneficiaries
Hope brightened yesterday for 27 states that applied for a bailout package put together by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced commencement of disbursement of the funds to two states.
Though the amount approved for them remained a secret yesterday, the apex bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Alhaji Muazu Ibrahim, listed the beneficiaries as Kwara and Zamfara.
Speaking on the development, Ibrahim said the apex bank has given approval to money deposit banks to begin disbursement to states that have met the conditions set for the special package under a loan reconstruction plan for them to assist in offloading arrears of salaries owed workers.
He said: “The CBN has approved the request by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to provide financial accommodation to state governments to enable them pay the backlog of salaries of their workers.
This is sequel to the decision by the National Executive Council (NEC) at its meeting of 29th June, 2015 requesting the CBN, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to appraise and consider ways of liquidating the outstanding staff salaries owed by state and local governments.
The conditions for accessing the loan facility include resolution of the state executive council authorizing the borrowing and state House of Assembly consenting to the loan package, as well as issuance of Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) to ensure timely repayment.
Out of the 27 states involved, funds have been disbursed to two states, namely Zamfara and Kwara that met the requirements as agreed with their respective banks.
Efforts will be made in the coming days to conclude disbursements to other states so that all outstanding salaries to civil servants can be cleared.” Ibrahim assured that the money will not be diverted as it is strictly for salaries payment and has been so designed.