‘FG’s bailout funds to states hit N1.7trn’

From Fred Itua, Abuja

Bailout funds given to the 36 states to cushion the effects of recession have hit N1.75 trillion.

The funds approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government did not get the nod of the National Assembly.

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A former senator, Dino Melaye, during a press conference, wondered why President Buhari has not queried how governors expended the funds since the first tranche was given.

“The Federal Government is neither concerned nor asked  the right questions on how the previous facilities were spent but regrettably, seem to be very happy and quick to grant another facility upon a simple request by the state governments for further support to repay the previous facilities due for repayment.”

The Executive Director of Anti-Corruption Network asked why the Federal Government was planning to approve fresh N656.112 billion Bridge Financing Facility to the 36 states.

“Each state is to receive N18.2 billion from the facility, which according to the report, will help the states afford the repayment of previous bailout facilities namely the Salary Bailout, Excess Crude facility and Budget Support facility guaranteed to them by the Federal Government. With the entire lackadaisical attitude displayed by the Federal Government in monitoring the proper use of the previous facilities and the reason given for the approval of this current N656.112 billion, one is tempted to ask if the Federal Government is benefitting from all these bailout funds? Is the Federal Government laundering money through the grant of these facilities? The Anti-Corruption Networks calls for answers and clarification of these questions.

“On the other hand, with such amount of money given to states running into trillions of naira, Nigerians should had reasonably expected a remarkable transformation within a shortest possible time, in terms of road network, bridges and flyovers, free medical care, students’ scholarship, sustainable empowerment programmes, jobs creation…”

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