Udora Orizu in Abuja
The federal government yesterday revealed plans to issue promissory notes worth N35.813 billion to 30 local contractors.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed disclosed this during the 2021 budget defence held by the House Committee on Aids, Loan and Debt Management.
She explained that a list comprising of 30 contractors in the sum of N35,813,220,910.64 have been verified by Presidential Initiative Continuous Audit (PICA) and recommended for the issuance of Promissory Note Programme for the consideration and approval by Federal Executive Council (FEC), after which it will be forwarded to the National Assembly for approval.
The minister further explained that from the list of the earlier verified contractors, the sum of N2,996,392,669.52 was approved for payment to 831 contractors in September, 2020, adding that the payment is ongoing at the moment.
Ahmed also observed that there is an ongoing compilation of about 1,888 of contracts for the consideration and approval, these approval will be funded from the balance of N2,536,305,625 left in the 2020 Service Wide Vote under local contractors’ debts.
The minister also disclosed that the sum of N15 billion was proposed for local contractors debt in the 2021 budget proposal to aid the Federal Government in reducing its debt burden.
She added that total debts verified by PICA stands at N17,641,889,782.66 while unverified debts stands at N62,538,823,812.56.
She said the frequency of verification of these debts in 2020 was slowed down due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown by the federal government.