N522bn Paris Club Refund: Governors State Readiness For EFCC Probe

Chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum, Abdul-Aziz Yari Abubakar, addresses press men afterthe meeting of the body.

By Oladapo Okeowo

The Nigerian state governors have declared their readiness for the investigations being conducted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into their disbursement of the N522bn Paris Club loan refund.

The position was taken at the emergency meeting called and held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

This was after reports filtered through last week that the governors may have diverted some of the money given to them.may have used fictitious consultants to divert some of the money from Paris Club which had attracted the attention of the EFCC.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, stated the governors’ readiness for the probe.

He said: “We discussed the issue of Paris Club and London Club. We observed that EFCC said it is doing investigations.

“We are waiting for the EFCC to come up with what they say is the investigation and come up with the result.”

He, however, said the state governors “support the Federal Government for fighting corruption.”

The Director-General of the NGF, Bayo Okauru, had told The PUNCH on Monday that the governors decided to meet in order to clarify some of the issues being raised by the EFCC in its investigations.

According to him, the NGF had nothing to hide in its account.

The FG had, in December 2016, approved N522.74bn to be paid to the 36 states of the federation as part of the reimbursement of the over-deductions on the Paris Club loan.

This was paid and acknowledged by some states like Oyo state which stated that 60 percent of the money would be expended on payment of salaries.

The EFCC investigators were said to have invited the three signatories to the account of the NGF to its office.

The EFCC, on Monday, said in a statement that no governor had been indicted yet. It also disavowed all rumours of a cover-up as there is “no incentive to do so.”

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