- There are controversies surrounding how Nigerian governors spent the first tranche of the Paris Club loan refund to them
- President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the second tranche of the loan refund but Col Umar is giving a reason why the the approval should be withdrawn
Outspoken northerner and retired Army colonel, Abubakar Umar, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately suspend the release of the Paris-London Club loan refund to state governors.
The president recently directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal ministry of Finance to make the second tranche of the funds available to the governors. He also urged the latter to ensure they paid salaries, pensions and gratuities of workers in their various states.
Sahara Reporters quotes Umar as saying: “It is now revealed that some state governors contracted consultants with fees ranging from 10 to 30 percent to secure (the) refund from the federal government of Nigeria.”
According to him, it was a “shocking revelation. It is also evident now that most of the earlier released funds were deployed for other purposes than payment of salaries and pension arrears as directed by Mr President. This impunity has got to stop."
In November, President Buhari had ordered the first tranche of N522.74 to all the states.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF) has denied that the first tranche of the funds have been diverted or shared by any of its members.
A statement issued by Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, head of the forum’s media and public affairs, the NGF said: “It is important to state that in approving the repayment, due process was diligently followed and each and every approving authority, including the federal ministry of Finance, the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation as well as the National Assembly were duly informed from the beginning to the end of all the transactions.
“Nothing illegal was done and no money was paid into the personal account of any governor, legislator or top officials at any of the levels and arms of government in the country.”