- Governors struggling to implement minimum wage bothered about the repayment plan.
- FG says each state is to refund N17.5bn
The Federal Government is demanding repayment of N614bn offered to 35 states under the National Budget Support Loan Facility.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday.
According to the minister, each of the states would return N17.5bn.
Speaking with State House Correspondents after a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa and attended by state governors, the minister explained that upon receiving a briefing on the matter, NEC agreed to set up a team comprising the Governors’ Forum and her ministry to meet with the Central Bank of Nigeria to work out the repayment modalities.
Ahmed, who briefed NEC on the progress of how the FG had made a total of over N614bn available to 35 states, being N17.5bn each also gave an update on the 2020 budget, stating that the last week of September was set for the presentation of estimates to the National Assembly.
She pointed that the council was briefed on preparations for the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper and the revenue generation challenges being faced by the government at the moment.
With some of them still thinking of how to pay outstanding salaries and new minimum wage, the governors were jolted by the government’s move on the refund.
The minister also revealed that the balance in the Stabilisation Account and Natural Resources Development Fund stood at $95.3m as of August 20.
Also giving an update was the NEC Committee on Export headed by the Governor of Jiagawa State, Mohammed Badaru-Abubakar.
Speaking with reporters on the presentation made to council by committee, Nasarawa Governor, Abdullahi Sule, explained that its work was to look into the ‘zero oil plan’ envisioned in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the government.
“The implementation of the plan is expected to yield results in three key areas; add an extra UDS150bn (minimum) to Nigeria’s foreign reserves accumulatively from non-oil exports over the next 10 years; create 500, 000 jobs annually; and lift 20 million Nigerians out of poverty…”
According to him, some achievements had been recorded, including an increase in non-oil exports (excluding natural gas) from U$1.17bn in 2016 to US$3.16bn in 2018, “meaning that strategic sectors identified in the zero oil plan have seen growth.”