Refund from Paris Club: Governors resolution

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The Nigeria Governors Forum reports that it has halted the planned payment of $418 million as well as the promissory notes that the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office issued to the Paris Club consultants.
The 36 state governors who made up the forum said they would continue to look into all legal options to make sure that “resources belonging to states are not unjustly or illegally paid to a few in the guise of consultancies.”
This was stated by the governors in a communiqué that was released on Wednesday following their eighth teleconference meeting on Tuesday night and was signed by Aminu Tambuwal, Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Sokoto State.
However, in response to the governors’ position, one of the consultants, Ned Nwoko, threatened to freeze the federation’s accounts and enforce the payment in a foreign court.
Although Nwoko did not specify the foreign nation, research indicates that the consultants may travel to France, where the Paris Club’s secretariat is located.
Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, stated that the NGF had no reason to reject the proposed deductions of $418 million from the federation account. He noted that the governors had created the liability, and they had also indemnified the governors for their payment.
Malami told reporters at the State House on August 11 that the governors had come to an agreement with each other to hire consultants to help them recover the Paris Club fund.
The minister stated, “When successes were recorded in the refund process, the governors individually and collectively presented a request to the Federal Government for the fund.” One of the components of the claim presented for consideration by the Federal Government was the payment of these consultants, which are currently the subject of contention.
However, following their meeting on Tuesday, the governors voiced their opposition to the plan to compensate the consultants in spite of the DMO promissory note.
“We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum at our meeting held today received briefings on various subnational programs, interventions, and issues of national importance,” the NGF stated in its communiqué.The following was our agreement on these:
“The forum remains resolute in exploring all legal channels available to it in ensuring that resources belonging to states are not unjustly or illegally paid to a few in the guise of consultancies,” the statement reads. “Regarding the controversial $418 million Paris Club refund and promissory notes issued to consultants by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office.”
Answering the gathering’s goal, Nwoko, a previous official, said, “They (Lead representatives) will just humiliate the National Government since I will execute the judgment abroad.The federal government’s accounts will not require the governors’ permission to pay when I do that and freeze them.
He did not, however, specify the foreign nation he would use to carry out his threat.
Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a lawyer, commented on the development, saying that it would be better for the consultants to let the case settle in the local court. He also said that a foreign court would probably want to wait for the Nigerian court’s decision.

Samuel Alexander

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