21st August, 2021
By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) made up of the 36 state governors has denied receiving N243.8 billion as Paris Club refunds from the Buhari administration.
The NGF Secretariat disclosed this in a statement issued by its Head, Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, on Friday in Abuja.
Bello-Barkindo described the allegation as a big lie and a figment of the imagination of its author.
He said that the announcement making the rounds that a disbursement of N243.8 billion to states in the month of August came to the attention of the forum as a surprise.
“The NGF wishes to state categorically that nothing can be farther from the truth as this disbursement did not happen and could not have happened as there are no further possibilities, that they can happen now, or in the future.
“The lie is further accentuated by the fact that the announcer has remained anonymous and to all intents and purposes, faceless.
“If it were true and the announcer sure of his facts, he would have owned the announcement in case anyone wanted to verify the information. But alas! “The faceless announcer of the fake disbursement, is apparently, completely oblivious of, or even clueless, about how the Paris Club refunds came about.
“This ignorance is either a sincere lack of knowledge of the process, or a deliberate effort to cause confusion in the land,” Bello-Barkindo said.
He added that the Paris Club is not a reserve institution from which the Federal Government could dip its hands and share monies to States.
He said it was a cumulative over-payment of debts by States, which has been refunded.
Bello-Barkindo called on the announcer of the rumour to desist from spreading malicious, mischievous and false information to the Nigerian public, especially where it involves money.
He said that such act could undermine the nation’s stability, especially at this inauspicious time when Nigeria’s finances are lean and security temperament fragile.
“There are myriads of ways to encourage the population to call their leadership to account but stoking the embers of discord by dishing out false information is doing the states, the governors and the citizens, as a whole, a disservice or even a calamity that no responsible citizen invites on his people.”