The federal government has released the details of the second tranche of Paris Club refunds to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Details of the refunds, which are contained in a statement by the Director of Information in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Salisu Dambatta, show that the total payments amounted to N243.795billion.
A breakdown of the figure show that Rivers, Kano, Delta, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom states got the highest payments, receiving N10bn each whereas Gombe state received the lowest payment with N4.472bn, while the FCT got N684million.
According to the statement, the President approved the payment on May 4 in partial settlement of long-standing claims by state governments relating to over-deductions from their Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocation for external debt service arising between 1995 and 2002.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, explained that these debt service deductions were in respect of the Paris Club, London Club and Multilateral debts of the federal governments and states.
While Nigeria reached a final agreement for debt relief with the Paris Club in October 2005, some states had already been overcharged.
The funds, disbursed to states as part of efforts by the Federal Government to boost the economy, are aimed at enabling the states to pay salaries and meet other obligations, the statement said.
“The releases were conditional upon a minimum of 75 per cent being applied to the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions for states that owe salaries and pension,” it added.
The Federal Ministry of Finance is reviewing the impact of these releases on the level of arrears owed by State Governments.
In addition to reviewing the impact of these releases on the level of arrears owed by state governments, the Finance Ministry said, “A detailed report is being compiled for presentation to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, as part of the process for approval for the release of any subsequent tranches.”