We received N5 billion, not N9 billion from Paris club fund – Kwara govt

Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed
Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed

The Kwara State government said on Saturday that it has only received N5 billion as its share of the London-Paris Loan Club refund from the federal government.

In a statement released by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Communication, Muideen Akorede, the government described reports that it received N9 billion as “outright falsehood.”

According to the statement, the State Commissioner for Finance, Demola Banu, said the Kwara government was yet to receive the balance of N3.7 billion.

He, however, disclosed that the state government is in the process of getting the Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja, to process and release the remaining fund.

Mr. Banu explained that all states were supposed to receive 25 per cent of their claim, which in the case of Kwara State, amounted to about N9 billion, pending final reconciliation.

He said only N5 billion of the claim was released to the state, adding that having made a strong case for the balance, the state government was expecting the release of approximately N3.7 billion from the federal government.

The finance commissioner also explained that additional instalments of the remaining 75 per cent was also being expected by the state once the figures are verified.

While commenting on efforts made by the government to ensure the release of the outstanding balance, Mr. Akorede disclosed that the state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, was coordinating efforts to secure the outstanding fund.

He said the governor had travelled to Abuja on different occasions to meet with federal officials to ensure timely reconciliation and release of the balance.

He however assured citizens in the state that once the money is received, Mr. Ahmed will approve the release of local governments’ share of the fund to pay staff salaries and pension arrears.

While assuring citizens of government’s continued support, Mr. Akorede explained that from the N5 billion earlier received by the state government in November 2016, Mr. Ahmed had directed the release of N1.4 billion to local governments to augment payment of November and December 2016 salaries.

He added that another N892 million was released to clear salary arrears at tertiary institutions in the state.

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