There is disquiet among Nigerian state governors following the directive for repayments of the loans they received from the federal government between 2015 and 2017.
The central government gave out the loans as bailouts during the financial crisis in the states.
The Ministry of Finance has put the total indebtedness of the states to the federal government at N614 billion. The money was advanced to the states under the tag of the National Budget Support Loan Facility.
While announcing the directives that states should commence repayment last week, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said each of the states would be required to refund a total of N17.5 billion.
The federal government is, therefore, putting together a committee comprising members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance to draw up modalities for the repayment.
The budget support loan facility was occasioned by the recession which arose in the wake of 2016, where state governments had issues with paying salaries of their workers and carrying out basic infrastructural maintenance.
The support, generally acclaimed as “bailout,” was given out on the condition that states strictly adhere to the guidelines of the payment of salaries of workers.