Benue State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. David Olufu says the state government is expecting about $186 million which will amount N56.7bn based on the CBN approved exchange rate of N305 to a dollar.
This he said were refunds from the Federal Government for over-deductions from the State Government’s allocations between 1995 and 2002 to settle Paris and London Clubs loan.
Mr. Olofu who disclosed this while addressing newsmen yesterday at the end of the State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Samuel Ortom, explained that due to paucity of funds, it was agreed that 25% of the amount be paid to the state government now.
“That 25% by our own local arithmetic here comes to about $45 – $46 million. Now if you convert that depending on the exchange rate that you are going to use, I was informed by relevant authorities that the CBN and Federal Ministry of Finance is using N305 to a dollar.
“If you do the conversion based on that, you’ll be getting between N13 – 14 billion. That is what we are expecting.” Olofu explained.
He said approvals had been made and the monies were being expected, adding that local government council were entitled to 45% of the said refund.
Meanwhile, Senator Dino Melaye has called on state governors to utilise the refunds from the Paris Club debt to clear workers outstanding salaries.
“We hope with this money, Governors will pay civil servants their salaries in full both at the state and LGAs levels to ameliorate the suffering of our people as directed by the federal government.
“We are calling on EFCC and ICPC to monitor the spending of these huge $4b disbursed to the 36 states governors” He said.