The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and some other civil society organisations have urged the Federal Government not to immediately disburse the N649bn Paris Club refund to the various states until after the inauguration of the incoming governors on May 29 this year.
NLC president, Ayuba Wabba made the recommendation while speaking with Journalists in Abuja, yesterday.
Ayuba said that the position of the NLC on the issue, borders on accountability and the manner the previous refunds were expended by some of the governors.
“The incumbent governors have a few days to go, so I am of the strong view that the money should actually be given to the incoming governors who would start on a clean slate and address substantial issues in governance.
“Clearly, some of the outgoing governors would like to use the money to pay severance allowances, which I think is not a priority, and you know that some of the states have spent huge amount of money on their build-up for the 2019 elections.”
NAN reported that the NLC’s latest position followed the disclosure by the Federal Government through the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday of it’s teadiness that to disburse the outstanding N649.434bn to the states.
Speaking at a press conference on the activities of her ministry, Zainab Ahmed said the money was the last tranche of the refund.
“For the final phase of the Paris Club debt refund, the total sum of N649.434bn was verified by the ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded state governments.
In the meantime, the Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project has corroborated the position of the NLC, saying that the disbursement of the money should be deferred until after May 29.
SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni said, “Since many of them are in the twilight of their tenure, the payment should be delayed till after the inauguration of new governors.
“If somebody has only a couple of days (11 days) to the end of his tenure, why give them an opportunity to superintend that volume of money”? He queried.