Facts have emerged as to how the Federal Government allocated the first tranche of N516.38bn reimbursement made to the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory from the Paris Club debt refund.
Based on the schedule of reimbursement which was released by the Federal Ministry of Finance on Friday in Abuja, five states got the highest amount of refund from the Federal Government.
The states are Rivers N34.92bn, Delta N27.6bn, Akwa Ibom N25.98bn, Bayelsa N24.89bn and Kano N21.7bn.
Analysis of the payment schedule showed that these five states got a total sum of N135.09bn representing 26.1 per cent of the entire amount refunded by the Federal Government to all the states.
This was followed by Lagos N16.74bn, Katsina N16.4bn, Kaduna N15.44bn, Borno N14.68bn, Jigawa N14.2bn, Imo N14.01bn, Niger N14.42bn, Bauchi N13.75bn, Sokoto N12.88bn and Osun N12.62bn.
Others are Cross River N12.15bn, Anambra N12.24bn, Edo N12.18bn, Kebbi N11.95bn, Kogi N11.05bn,Abia N11.43bn, Ogun N11.47bn, Plateau N11.28bn.
Similarly, Yobe state got N10.82bn, Zamfara N10.88bn, Ebonyi N9.01bn, Ekiti N9.54bn, Enugu N10.7bn, Gombe N8.95bn, Nasarawa N9.1bn, Oyo N13.31bn while Kwara got N10.24bn.
The rest are Adamawa N10.25bn, Benue N13.7bn, Ondo N14.01bn, Taraba N9.32bn and Federal Capital Territory N1.36bn.
The statement signed by the Director of Information in the finance ministry, Salisu Dambatta, said the payments were made upon the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari on November 21 2016.
This is in partial settlement of long standing claims by state governments relating to over-deductions from their Federation Account Allocation Committee allocation for external debt service arising between 1995 and 2002.
These debt service deductions are in respect of the Paris Club, London Club and Multilateral debts of the Federal government and states.
While Nigeria reached a final agreement for debt relief with the Paris Club in October 2005, some states according to the statement had already been overcharged.
It reads in part, “The funds were released to state government as part of the wider efforts to stimulate the economy and were specifically designed to support states in meeting salary and other obligations, thereby alleviating the challenges faced by workers.
“The releases were conditional upon a minimum of 50 per cent being applied to the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions. The Federal Ministry of Finance is reviewing the impact of these releases on the level of arrears owed by state governments.
“A detailed report is being compiled for presentation to the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as part of the process for approval for the release of any subsequent tranches.”