Governors will loot Paris Club refunds as “last minute bonanza” HURIWA warns FG

By Shola Abayomi.

Following the announcement by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed that the federal government will soon release the sum of N649.43bn as the final refund for the Paris Club debt to state governments, the National Coordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), Mr Emmanuel Onwubiko has cautioned the government not to pay states the approved sum until after the inauguration of newly elected governors on May 29.

Speaking in Abuja yesterday, Mr Onwubiko expressed worries that any payment made into state accounts before the swearing in of new governors on May 29 may be plundered by the outgoing governors.

He suggested that the federal government should alternatively appropriate the funds for the direct payment of civil servants and pensioners owed accumulated wages in states like Kogi, Imo and others.

Mr Onwubiko berated state governors for allegedly misusing the previous refunds paid to them without offsetting the wages of their workers, despite strict directive from the president instructing them to utilise the funds to settle outstanding salaries in their states.

In his words, “the federal government runs the risk of exposing the commonwealth of the mentioned states to be looted as “last minute bonanza” at these moments of transition from one administration to another.”

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