Nigerian States Governors are uncomfortable over the directive of the Federal Government on the repayments of loans they received from it between 2015 and 2017.
Concise News learned that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration gave out the loans as bailouts during the financial crisis in the states.
The Ministry of Finance has put the total indebtedness of the states to the federal government at N614 billion. The money was advanced to the states under the tag of the National Budget Support Loan Facility.
Announcing the directives that states should commence repayment last week, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said each of the states would be required to refund a total of N17.5 billion.
The federal government is, therefore, putting together a committee comprising members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance to draw up modalities for the repayment.
The budget support loan facility was occasioned by the recession which arose in the wake of 2016, where state governments had issues with paying salaries of their workers and carrying out basic infrastructural maintenance.
“Nobody will talk to you on this matter as an individual, but there is a grave concern right now, knowing the financial conditions of the states,” Premium Times quoted a source as saying.
“But what I can tell you, is that the governors are holding a series of meetings, especially with the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo. They are basically asking that they should be given more time to pay the loans.”
Another official close to the office of the Chairman of the NGF, Kayode Fayemi, hinted that the governors “are jittery” following the announcement of the repayment of the loans.