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N614bn Bailout: We want review of repayment process ─Governors

Helen Williams

The 36 state governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have agreed that there should be a review in the payment process of the N614billion financial rescue advanced to 35 states as budget support facilities.

The governors who converged on Abuja, night of Wednesday, January 22 for the meeting, discussed among others, issues of deductions for budget support facility loan granted them by the Federal Government as top of the agenda.

In respect of reconciliation for budget support facilities after the governors’ meeting of the governors, Vanguard reports that Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Chairman of NGF and Ekiti State Governor, said: “That is something that has been handled.

“We have come up with our own recommendations of special fund generally not just budget support facilities.

“On budget support facilities specifically, states are already honouring their obligations. They are already paying back what is lent to the Federal Government.

The source further says Fayemi stated that “the question of the amount is something that we will continue to review. It is our view that we should be paying a lot less what we are paying, but that is something that has not been addressed yet.

“But that has not stopped us from honouring the obligation to the Federal Government that lent the resources to us at the time that they did.”

It is recalled that the Federal Government, in September 2019, began deduction of the N614billion bailout funds it gave to states for payment of salaries of workers in 2016.

The bailout refund had been on the agenda of the governors at every meeting since the Federal Government started the deductions.

However, ConsumerConnect relates that in October 2019, the governors opposed the plan to extend the repayment period of the Government budget support to state governments from 20 to 30 years.

The Federal Government had explained that the monthly repayment had reduced from N252 million to N162 million based on the extension.

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