BEVERLY HILLS, October 19, (THEWILL) – Following the non-payment of workers’ salaries, pensions and other allowances by some state governors, the Senate has resolved to probe how the Paris Club Refunds and other bailout funds given to state governors by President Muhammadu Buhari were approved.
The Senate arrived at this decision after a point of order raised by Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo East) during Thursday’s plenary, who queried the legality of the funds given to governors by Buhari as he sought to know who gave the approval since the National Assembly was not consulted before the disbursement.
Anyanwu said, “I am worried about the Paris Club refunds. Governors are asking for more funds. Where is this money from? The Senate has not given any approval. Who gives the approval and where is the money from? I heard the president scolding them. The president was asking them how they sleep at night even when they do not pay salaries. They have received billions of naira. I feel worried. Even the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has told the president to stop giving bailout funds to governors.
“If you look at front pages of newspapers, you will see the issue there. This is the problem. If my colleagues will allow me, I want to bring this as a motion at our next legislative day. I so submit.”
The lawmaker later sought the leave of the Senate to move a motion on the matter during the next legislative day, being next Tuesday.
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who presided over the session, subjected Anyanwu’s request to vote. The proposal was unanimously supported and Saraki announced that the motion would be presented on another legislative day.
“If it is the will of colleagues that this motion be brought at another legislative day, then Senator Anyanwu can sponsor a proper motion,” the Senate President said.
THEWILL recalls that the Federal Government had released the breakdown of payments to the 36 states as refund of “over-deductions on Paris Club, London Club Loans and Multilateral debts on the accounts of States and Local Governments (1995- 2002).”
The latest payment is the second tranche of the refunds to the states with a total of N243.8 billion released to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Buhari, while releasing the second tranche of the Paris Club refund, totalling N243.795 billion, to states had urged the state governors to use a major part of the funds to offset salaries, pensions and other allowances being owed workers in their respective states.