By Nimi Princewill.
The Supervising Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that the Federal Government is set to disburse the sum of N649.4billion to states as their balance of the Paris Club debts refunds.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday during a quarterly press conference on the activities of the Finance Ministry, she revealed that the funds have been verified and refund will be made to the states in due course.
“For the final phase of the Paris Club debt refunds, the total sum of N649.434 billion was verified by the Ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the state governments.
“The payments made by the CBN as at March 2019, is N691.560billion. The increase in CBN payments partly arose from the exchange rate differential at the point of payment. Although, some states still have outstanding balances, which will be refunded, in due course.”
The Minister also explained that a total of N603 billion has been saved through the Federal Government’s initiative on Continuous Audit between 2016 to date.
Findings from the initiative has led to the prosecution and eventual conviction of some ghost workers.
“The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) has saved the Federation N603.78billion from its inception in 2016 to date. Among this figure, is the savings of N8.30 billion during Q1 2019.
“As part of this administration’s zero tolerance on corruption, PICA’s findings on ghost workers has been acted on by convicting some civil servants and also there are some that are undergoing trial on the court while others are undergoing investigation by the EFCC,” she said.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, the Director-General, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, and the Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, were among the top officials present at the media briefing.