Posted by News Express | 16 June 2017 | 1,602 times
The Bayelsa State Government has shifted its position admitting receiving additional funds after pressure from Sahara Reporters following Federal Ministry of Finance’s disclosure on the state’s share of the first tranche of the N516.38 billion Paris Club debt refund.
At the media briefing, Deputy Governor of Bayelsa Rear Admiral John Jonah (Rtd) recanted the government’s position.
Jonah admitted the receipt of additional N6.61 billion in March.
“The Paris Club refund to states is not a gift from the Federal Government to pay salaries. It is state governments’ money that was deducted without consulting the states.
“At a meeting, it was decided that the money should be paid in two instalments.
“A chart was drawn up and the entitlements of every state were written.
“But, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria decided that, if that money was released to states for payment of salaries, there would be too much money in circulation.
“It was then decided that the money would be paid in four instalments, which is 25 per cent at a time.
“When the first 25 per cent was paid, Bayelsa State could have got N21.168 billion, but then, when the money came, they only released to us N14.5 billion. The first tranche was supposed to have been N21.168 billion.
“But again, that N14.5 billion was not for the state government alone, because out of the amount, N1.3 billion was for the local government councils. So, what actually came to the state government was the balance of N13.2 billion,” Jonah explained.
Jonathan Obuebite, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, had up till Wednesday said that reports of N24.89bn was a rumour (NAN)
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