By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Monday, cleared the air on the last tranche of the Paris Club refunds, saying the sum of N691.560 billion has already been disbursed to states since March 2019 by the Central Bank of Nigeria after verification.
The clarification followed some media reports last weekend that the federal government was set to release N691.560 billion as outstanding and final payment of the Paris Club refunds to the states.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja last Thursday, Ahmed had stated: “For the final phase of the Paris Club debt refunds, the total sum of N649.434 billion was verified by the ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the state governments.
“The payments made by the CBN as at March 2019, is N691.560 billion. The increase in CBN payments partly arose from exchange rate
differential at the point of payment. Although, some States still have outstanding balances, which will be refunded, in due course,” she said.
However, in a statement issued in Abuja, Monday by her media aide, Paul Ella Abechi, the minister noted that there was no more tranche of Paris Club refunds to be disbursed to states, “because the money has already been disbursed in March 2019.”
According to the statement, Ahmed’s clarification became necessary “following the news making the rounds in the media that soon states will receive disbursement of outstanding balance of the Paris Club debts on verification made amounting to a total sum of N691.560 billion by the ministry due to exchange rate differential at the point of payment instead of the total sum of N649.434 billion that was verified.”