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FG begins final payment of N649bn Paris Club fund to states

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Federal Government is set to release the sum of N649.43bn as the final refund for the Paris Club debt to state governments, TOPNAIJA.NG reports.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, gave the figure on Thursday in Abuja during a media briefing on the activities of her ministry.

Those present at the media briefing were the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali; the Director-General, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha; the Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, and the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The finance minister said the amount had already been verified by the ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the state governments.

Ahmed said the refund would be made to the state governments in due course.

She said, “For the final phase of the Paris Club debts refunds, the total sum of N649.434bn was verified by the ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the state governments.

“The payments made by the Central Bank of Nigeria as of March 2019 is N691.56bn. The increase in CBN payments partly arose from the exchange rate differential at the point of payment. Although some states still have outstanding balances, they will be refunded in due course.”

She said that between June 20, 2018, when the 2018 budget was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari and May 14, 2019, the Federal Government had released a total of N2.079tn to finance the capital components of the 2018 budget.

The Federal Government had as of March 29 put the total amount released for capital projects at N1.9tn.

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