Governors meet over N614b bail-out deductions, others
Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) met in Abuja yesterday ahead of the 97th National Economic Council (NEC) meeting today.They were meeting for the first time under the chairmanship of Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, as the Federal Government had decided to recover N614 billion advanced to 35 states as budget support facility.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, made the disclosure in August at the last NEC meeting, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.
The minister had, at the Public Consultation Forum on the draft 2020 to 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework in Abuja on September 10, said the dedications would begin in two weeks, which falls on September 27.
Government gave the conditional budget support facility to the states through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2017 to enable them meet their financial obligations to civil servants and pensioners.
The money was provided at a nine per cent interest rate, with a grace period of two years.Ahmed said the repayment would be taken from the affected states’ allocations during the next Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting this month.She added that the refund was not going to be treated as revenue to fund the 2020 budget.
According to her, since it is a loan that was advanced by CBN to the states, the recovery process would be for the loans to be deducted from the FAAC allocations of the states and returned to the CBN.Ahmed said the process would not require a consideration of the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) implementation, but to ensure that the states stayed on the path of fiscal sustainability.“This will not be a condition for the deduction. We will deduct direct at source and remit to the CBN,” she said.