November 24, 2022

$418m Paris Refund: Govs vow to stop payment to consultants


By Henry Umoru

Governors of the 36 states of the federation, under the aegis of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, vowed,, yesterday, to explore all legal channels to pursue the $418 million Paris Club Refund and  ensure that states’ resources are not unjustly paid to a few in the name of consultancy.

In a statement after the 8th teleconference meeting of the NGF, Chairman of the forum  and Sokoto State governor , Aminu Tambuwal said,  “regarding the $418 Million Paris Club Refund and promissory notes issued to Consultants by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office, DMO, the Forum remains resolute in exploring all legal channels available to it in ensuring that resources belonging to States are not unjustly or illegally paid to a few in the guise of consultancies.

He also said that the forum is continuing its quest to stop the proposed privatization of 10 National Integrated Power Projects, NIPPs, by the Federal Government. He said the forum had instructed its lawyers to approach the Federal High Court which at present has issued an order restraining all the parties in the suit from taking any step or action that will make or render the outcome of the motion on notice seeking for interlocutory injunction nugatory.

Tambuwal said:   “The effect of the Order of the Court is that Respondents cannot proceed with the proposed sale of the power plants belonging to the  Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, NDPHCL, until the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction.”

He noted that sequel to discussions between sub-sovereigns at the recently concluded 2nd African Sub-Sovereign Government Network, AfSNET, Conference, the Forum agreed to pursue through its membership on the Forum of Regions of Africa, FORAF.

The Sokoto State governor, who noted that the Forum was monitoring the flood situation across the country and working with the Federal Government through the National Economic Council, NEC, said: “In collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, FMHDSD.

“National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, FMFBNP, and the World Bank to prepare emergency interventions to ameliorate the impact of the flood crisis especially to sustain Food Security.

“Members were also briefed by the World Bank Task Team Leader, TTL, Professor Foluso Okunmadewa, on the desired restructuring of the $750 million Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Program, CARES, programme to respond to Nigeria 2022 Flood Response following discussions with States and the National Economic Council, NEC, Ad hoc Committee on Flooding.“