the Forum of Governors of Nigeria (NGF) has resolved to continue exploring all legal options with respect to the disbursement of the $418 million Paris Club reimbursement and promissory notes issued to consultants by the federal government.
This was contained in a statement signed by NGF Chairman Aminu Tambuwal and issued at the end of the eighth teleconference meeting on Wednesday.
It was one of many resolutions made at the meeting.
Controversies had followed the Paris Club’s reimbursement to state and local governments in recent months. While the governors had said that consultants for the recovery of excessive deductions from the Paris and London clubs’ debt buyback funds were owed about $418 million, Ned Nwoko, the lead consultant, said that his company was owed $68 million and not $418 million.
The NGF wrote to the federal government and argued that an attempt to restart the deduction process, which is in court and for which the Supreme Court has ruled, would be unconstitutional.
And while President Muhammadu Buhari ordered Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed to suspend plans to begin deduction from the Paris Club refund of $418 million allegedly owed to consultants from the federation’s account, Attorney General Abubakar Malami said that the NGF had no base. reject the proposed deductions from the Paris Club reimbursement amount.
The Forum further accused Mr. Malami of acting in his selfish and personal interest and described his plan to deduct the sum as illegal because the case is still pending in court.
The NGF also formed a committee consisting of its former president, Kayode Fayemi, Governors Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, to interact with the committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari to review the case.
It was the saga that, according to Tambuwal, would be best resolved by the court.
“With respect to the Paris Club Reimbursement of $418 million and the promissory notes issued to the Consultants by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO), the Forum remains determined to explore all available legal channels to ensure that the resources that belong to the States are not unfairly or illegally paid to a few under the guise of consultancies,” the statement said.
The Forum also resolved to instruct its lawyers to approach the Federal High Court regarding their defense of the proposed privatization of 10 National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) by the federal government.
He also said that he is monitoring the flood situation throughout the country and working with the federal government through the National Economic Council, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, the Agency National Emergency Management Agency, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank to prepare emergency interventions to ameliorate the impact of the flood crisis and maintain food security.
The Minister of the Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, also informed the governors about the congestion of detention centers throughout the country and the digitization of immigration processes.
Mr Tambuwal said the NGF welcomed the minister’s report and pledged to work with law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) on recommendations put forward in relation to individual state jurisdiction.
However, he did not give details of the minister’s report or his recommendations.