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Group seeks audit of N1.75tn bailout funds granted states

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
28 November 2021   |   4:03 am
A civil Society Organisation, the Anti-Corruption Network, has called for an immediate audit of the N1.75tn bailout facilities released to the 36 states of the federation in six years.

Sen. Dino Melaye. Photo: TWITTER/DINOMELAYE

• Urges Buhari To Halt Fresh N656b Facility
A civil Society Organisation, the Anti-Corruption Network, has called for an immediate audit of the N1.75tn bailout facilities released to the 36 states of the federation in six years.

This is as the group urged President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the planned fresh N656b bailout to states.

It noted that the move by the president is nothing but a case of repaying debt with debt.

Addressing reporters in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of ACN, and former Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, Dino Melaye, alleged that previous bailout funds granted to states were mismanaged and unaccounted for.

In the latest facility, which is the fourth in six years, each state will get N18.2b to help them meet financial obligations and budget support due for repayment.

The funds will be disbursed in six tranches over six months, with a 30-year tenor, and a two-year moratorium at an interest rate of nine per cent.

Melaye, while making reference to a BudgIT report, said a total of N1.75tn has been given to states as bailout since the advent of the present administration, saying nothing or little is known about how the funds had been spent.

According to him, instead of the fresh bailout, the Federal Government should have considered either waiving a substantial part of the three bailouts already granted, delay the repayment or even extend the repayment period.

He maintained that the grant of another facility to support repayment of the previous facilities granted sounded preposterous, stressing the need for an holistic and comprehensive audit of all the funds disbursed to state governments so far.

He said: “Anti-corruption Network categorically states that it is absolutely wrong for state governors to be demanding for fresh bailout funds without providing facts and figures as to how they managed the revenues they had, and the previous funds that were disbursed to them.

“The Anti-Corruption also noted that this has opened more avenues for state governors to launder money in their respective states and run the affairs of their respective states with impunity…”