Some participants of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have rejected the directives via way of means of the federal authorities that the budget given to the states as palliatives to cushion the results of petrol subsidy elimination could be refunded, THISDAY has learnt.
This is coming because the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has defined the N5 billion in palliatives and offers to every country as shambolic and unscientific.
The federal authorities had accredited a paltry N5 billion for every of the 36 states of the federation for procurement of meals gadgets and fertilisers as a part of efforts to relieve the struggling related to gas subsidy elimination withinside the country.
This became the excessive factor of the resolutions of the month-to-month National Economic Council (NEC) assembly hung on Thursday at State House, Abuja, which changed into presided via way of means of Vice President Kashim Shettima.
Governors Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Babagana Zulum of Borno State, Charles Soludo of Anambra State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, and Uba Sani of Kaduna State had briefed newshounds at the final results of the NEC assembly.
Speaking after the assembly, Zulum defined that the N5 billion “investment needs to be shared with a components as follows: fifty two in line with cent of this cash is given to states as offers, at the same time as forty eight in keeping with cent of the N5 billion is to be paid again on an instalment foundation inside 20 months to the CBN with the aid of using the states and the neighborhood authorities regions in Nigeria.”
But THISDAY collected that the governors have been stated to have argued of their Wednesday’s assembly that because the budget have been intended for palliatives, they have to now no longer be refunded through the states as directed via way of means of the federal authorities.
Some of the governors have been additionally sad with the Chairman of the NGF and Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for accepting on behalf of the governors that the budget might be refunded.
Consequently, the governors, it changed into learnt, ended their assembly on Wednesday night time in a shouting match.
THISDAY collected that the assembly which began out round 10 p.m. on Wednesday ended at approximately three a.m. on Thursday with none communiqué on the way to solve the difficulty of the palliatives.
It turned into in addition collected that the war of words a number of the governors become now no longer alongside birthday birthday celebration lines.
Some of the governors had been additionally stated to have vowed to face up to the concept of implementing the selections of the Presidency on them.
Following the pointy war of words over the palliatives, the assembly couldn’t attain any settlement or produce a communiqué.
Multiple reassets aware about the assembly informed THISDAY that the reason of the confrontation turned into the directives contained in a memo through the Director General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, that the palliatives could be refunded via way of means of the states.
According to the memo, any nation governor who turned into now no longer inclined to refund the finances for the palliatives after the adulthood date must now no longer acquire the budget.
The memo from the Secretariat in addition directed that any governor, who became unwilling to refund the entire finances for the palliatives must refund the N2 billion already accumulated with the aid of using him as part-payment.
The memo sighted with the aid of using THISDAY, which turned into signed through Okauru, and entitled: ‘Re: Distribution of Palliatives – Terms of FG Facility),’ stated the states are unfastened to choose out of the provide and go back a sum of N2 billion already given to every of them.
According to Okauru withinside the letter, “I were directed with the aid of using the Chairman, H.E. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to ahead the phrases of the power as follows: Facility size: N4,000,000,000; Loan (forty eight%): N1,920,000,000; FGN Grant: (fifty two%); N2,080,000,000.00 Beneficiary every nation authorities; Tenure: 20 months; Interest Rate: Nil; Moratorium: Three months; Repayment Mode: Monthly; Repayment Amount: N120,000,000; and Security Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO).
“Your excellency is invited to notice that this provide is optionally available and states that don’t desire to take part can also additionally choose out and refund the N2 billion already distributed to them.”
Two of the governors who spoke to THISDAY one by one showed that there has been a heated argument withinside the assembly over the palliatives.
They defined that the memo from the Okauru took them unawares.
The governors argued that considering the fact that a function have been taken via way of means of the Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, there has been no want for the NGF assembly.
One of the governors stated: “The precedent is that any time there’s a assembly of the National Economic Council (NEC), we meet first to speculate as a body, however withinside the morning of Thursday, we have been simply surpassed a directive from the Director General as though we had been children.
“We did now no longer agree at the content material of the memo; that turned into why we had a heated argument and as I communicate to you, we did now no longer agree and as such there has been no communiqué on the give up of our assembly.
“We did now no longer agree due to the fact the reimbursement quantity, that is N120,000,000.00 month-to-month, really approach that the Central Bank of Nigeria might be directed to apply the Security Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) to deduct the cash from the sales because of the states.
“The palliatives are a comfort to the states because of the hardships to states from the elimination of the petrol subsidy. Why accumulate it again? To acquire it lower back approach that it’s far now no longer a palliative,” the governor informed THISDAY.
According to some other governor, “The NGF is meant to be independent, however now, it appears that evidently we’ve got a md who takes orders and could need to pressure it down on us, the governors. This can be resisted.”
It turned into additionally learnt that the executive personnel of the NGF turned into despatched out whilst the governors’ assembly have become heated.
Telephone calls placed throughout to Okauru with the aid of using THISDAY have been now no longer answered
N5bn Grant to States Shambolic, Says ACF
Meanwhile, the ACF has defined the N5 billion proposed for every nation as palliatives and offers as shambolic and unscientific.
The Spokesman of the forum, Professor Tukur Muhammad-Baba, in an interview with reporters yesterday, stated there’s no foundation for giving the identical quantity to Lagos, Oyo, Kano, and Bayelsa states, as their populations and records of eligible humans differ.
Muhammad-Baba stated, “I am now no longer satisfied approximately one of these blanket distribution of N5 billion to every kingdom. In the primary place, there may be no foundation for the distribution. I mean, in case you are seeking out bad humans, are you allocating the equal quantity to Bayelsa, Lagos, Oyo, and Kano states, and also you assume it to make an effect?
“This indicates that we’re doing such things as what grammar humans call ‘hunter’s pack’. You don’t plan, you don’t strategise, you simply got here out and made an declaration on that. There isn’t anyt any foundation for sharing cash with states on an identical foundation.
“We are speakme of bad humans and negative human beings is a query of proportion, we recognize there are over a hundred and forty million terrible human beings in Nigeria. The quantity of humans affected by poverty in Lagos, Oyo, and Kano will now no longer be similar to the ones dwelling in poverty in Bayelsa, Taraba, or Jigawa. So, what’s the foundation? What effect is it going to make?
“You are accompanying it with 30,000 luggage of rice. How many humans is that going to attain? Take a country like Sokoto, for example. They have over seven million human beings through the modern day National Population Commission estimate. So, what number of humans are 30,000 luggage of rice going to feed?” he queried.
He stated that the authorities isn’t running on a precise plan, saying, “The authorities is imposing a shambolic policy; you want to return back to the resource of the bad humans, there may be no question approximately it, this is scientific, however you want to do it in this kind of manner that your intervention will now no longer be a drop withinside the ocean.”