We’re reconciling accounts ahead of N614b loans’ repayment, say governors
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has said its members are currently reconciling accounts before paying back the N614 billion loans given to 35 states by the Federal Government as budget support.
Chairman of the forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who made the disclosure after a closed-door meeting on Wednesday night in Abuja, added that they could not afford to endanger the financial system
He said: “Governors believe that just as they are ready to pay, they also have a duty to ensure reconciliation of accounts as far as monies owed to states may be concerned, and that process is ongoing.
“If you borrow, you pay. Governors have never been averse to payment of loans that we took under a legal environment and we do not want a situation where we would put our banking and financial systems in jeopardy.
“But it is a storm in a tea cup when we read about governors refusing to pay this or that. We do not have such an issue, we are ready to pay.”
Fayemi, who described the invasion of some governors’ residences recently as ‘unlawful’, noted that the act was in direct violation of the immunity of the state chief executives.
He said the forum had met with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police on the issue.
The governor restated his colleagues’ continued collaboration with journalists, especially on issues of security during their work in hostile milieus.
He disclosed that the states had improved in transparency ratings over the last quarter, citing results of the World Bank-assisted State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme (SFTAS).
Besides, the governors have again requested the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to assist them reschedule their Irrevocable Standing Payment Orders (ISPOs) they issued upon which deductions are made monthly from their allocations at the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.
The appeal was made yesterday during a visit to the corporate headquarters of the apex bank in Abuja.
Governor Zanna Zulum of Borno State, who made the request on behalf his colleagues, said North East states were heavily burdened by the deductions due to the raging insurgency that had made agriculture initiatives also impossible owing to cost.