By: Olajide Toriola
Kwara State Government has described as outright falsehood media reports that it received N9b as its share of the London-Paris Loan Club refund from the federal government.
Reacting on behalf of the government, the State Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Demola Banu explained that the state government has only received and declared N5billion so far from the federal government but was yet to receive the balance of about N3.7billion.
He emphasized however that the state government is in the process of getting the Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja to process and release the balance.
Providing further explanation, Banu emphasized that all states were supposed to receive 25 per cent of their claim, which in the case of Kwara State, amounted to about N9b, pending final reconciliation.
He said that only N5b of the claim was released to the state as announced earlier.
He said that having made a strong case for the balance of the 25 per cent, the state government was expecting the release of approximately N3.7b from the federal government anytime from next week. Banu said that additional installments of the remaining seventy-five per cent was also being expected by the state once the figures are verified.
Providing further clarification, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, revealed that the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed was personally coordinating efforts to secure the outstanding and had travelled to Abuja on different occasions to meet with federal officials to ensure timely reconciliation and release.
Akorede assured that once the money is received, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed will approve the release of local governments’ share of the fund to pay the proportion of staff and pension arrears the fund can cover.
He said there was no way the government will announce funds which it had not received from the Federal Government or any other source.
He recalled that from N5billion earlier received by the state government from Federal Government for the London-Paris Club loan over-deductions in November 2016, Governor Ahmed had directed the release of N1.4b to local governments to augment their allocation for the payment of November and December 2016 salaries, while another N892m was released to clear salary arrears at tertiary institutions in the state.