Governors of the 36 states of the federation have debunked the alleged disbursement of the sum of N243.8 billion to states as Paris Club refund.
In a statement signed by the Head, Media, and Public Affairs Division of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, and released to journalists, yesterday, the governors said, “the announcement making the rounds that a disbursement of N243.8 billion to states in the month of August has been made, has come to the attention of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum as a surprise.”
The governors stated categorically that, “nothing can be farther from the truth as this disbursement did not happen and could not have happened as there are no further possibilities, that they can happen now or in the future.”
The statement explained further: “The so-called disbursement is, therefore, a big lie and a figment of the imagination of its author. The lie is further accentuated by the fact that the announcer has remained anonymous and to all intents and purposes, faceless.
“The faceless announcer of the fake disbursement, is apparently, completely oblivious of, or even clueless, about how the Paris Club refunds came about. This ignorance is either a sincere lack of knowledge of the process or a deliberate effort to cause confusion in the land.”
The NGF further explained that the Paris Club is not a reserve from where the Federal Government can dip its hands and share monies to states. “It was a cumulative over-payment of debts by states, which was being refunded,” it added.
The forum urged the announcer too, “desist from spreading malicious, mischievous and false information to the Nigerian public especially where it involves money, as such could undermine the nation’s stability, especially at this inauspicious time when our finances are lean and security temperament is fragile.”
According to the NGF, “there are myriads of ways to encourage the population to call their leaders to account but stoking the embers of discord by dishing out false information as funds that have been disbursed to states is doing the states, the governors, and the citizens, as a whole, a disservice or even a calamity that no responsible citizen invites on his people.”