Governors disagree over consultant fees from Paris Club refund

Governors disagree over consultant fees from Paris Club refund

- The presidency is unhappy that the governors are not sharing the funds appropriately particularly to local governments

- An unnamed governor claims that the consultants were brought by just one or two govenors

- NGF chairman Abdul Aziz Yari of Zamfara state was the one that wrote a letter to confirm the agreement to make the payment

Governors disagree over Paris Club refund

Abdul-Aziz Yari wrote the letter that confirmed the agreement to make the payment

The Nation is reporting that there is presently disagreement between governors in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) over a controversial payment of $138 million (about N42.2b at the official N306 to $1).

According to the report, some governors are unhappy the NGF wants to 2% of the $6.9billion refund to consultants.

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It quoted an unnamed governor as saying that the Forum’s chairman Abdulaziz Yari, the governor of Zamfara State, conveyed the agreement to the amount to some consultants in a July 29, 2016 letter to the Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun.

The letter read: “Please recall that the Nigeria Governors Forum had at its meeting of May 2016 appointed a Consortium of Financial Consultants to reconcile and recover over-deductions from the Paris and London Club loans due to states and local governments.

“Also, Mr. President in a meeting with members of the Forum had graciously agreed to pay 50% of the monies due and the balance of 50% paid after due and diligent reconciliation of the accounts.

“At the last meeting of the Nigeria Governors Forum held in July 2016, the Forum unanimously resolved to pay a fee of 2% to the consultants as their professional fees for the services rendered.

“Pursuant to the Forum’s resolution therefore, I am requesting that the payment of the consultant fees should be deducted at source from each state’s entitlement and paid directly to the account details of the consultants as attached with.

“Consequently, we crave the indulgence of the Honourable Minister to effect the wishes of the governors when implementing Mr. President’s directives.

But some governors are not happy with the letter because they feel that “one or two governors” brought the lead consultants after each state had engaged its own consultants.

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“Our colleagues can also not be offering consultancy services to us through some proxies”, he said, pleading not to be named because of “the sensitivity” of the matter.

“At the end of it all, states are expected to part with N42.2billion to consultants who are not primary sources of the loan records. We were shocked that out of the N19billion consultancy/legal fees paid into the NGF accounts, most consultants hired by states have not been paid a farthing.

“The bulk of the job of the reconciliation of loan refunds is being done by officials and consultants or financial advisers from each state, the Debt Management Office (DMO), the Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF).

“Some of us will resist further deductions from our loan refund. The N42.2billion is outrageous.

Meanwhile, gathered President Muhammadu Buhari recently called on state governors to prioritise the payment of salaries as his administration released N54 billion to clear backlog of pensions.

The president made this statement via his official page on Friday, April 7 saying his administration would do everything to make sure civil servants get their due. TV crew recently came across a man on the streets who is frustrated by the hardship in the country for the common man even while political elites enjoy. Watch him:


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