States owe FG N1.7tn budget loans

The governments of Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory owe the federal government an outstanding liability of N1.72tn in budget support facilities.

The figures were revealed in a presentation on state budget support facility by Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, at the 140th meeting of the National Economic Council presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.

Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Communications, Stanley Nkwocha, revealed this in a statement he signed Thursday titled, ‘NEC endorses take-off of $617M i-DICE programme across states.’

In 2021, the Muhammadu Buhari administration approved a fresh N656bn Bridge Financing Facility for the 36 states.

This was part of earlier interventions to “help state governments to meet their financial obligations,” then-Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed said.

The FCT owes N49.11bn and each of the 36 states carries the same debt burden, totalling N1.72bn.

At a previous NEC meeting held in November 2023, the FG had emphasised that the it ceased providing budget support loans in July 2023, partly due to an increase in the federation’s revenues.

Meanwhile, the excess crude account, was $473,754.57, the Stabilisation Account, N33,808,342,662.88, while the Current Balance of Natural Resources stands at N113,925,600,918.68.

On the NEC ad-hoc committee on crude oil theft prevention and control report presented by the Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, Nkwocha said:

“On the request of the Vice President and Chairman of Council, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State presented an abridged version of its report on crude oil theft prevention and control on behalf of the NEC ad hoc Committee.

“Governor Uzodinma said the committee met and had far-reaching deliberations and deployed appropriate technologies for data collection. Full report to be tendered at next NEC.”

The statement added, “While noting the presentation, the Vice President observed that the rate of submissions by States were not impressive and urged States yet to make inputs to expedite action to enable robust deliberations on the subject-matter at the next Council meeting.”

The Kwara State governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, presented the update on NEC ad-hoc committee on Economic Affairs.

Recall that at the 138th NEC Meeting held on December 21, 2023, a committee on Economic Matters chaired by the Kwara State governor was established.

The Committee’s main objective was to develop a feasible and effective roadmap for addressing economic issues affecting Nigerians at the national and sub-national levels and avert a possible economic and socio-political crisis.

Members were given one month to prepare their plans and submit their reports by the second quarter of 2024.

The NEC also received presentation on the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones programme.

It was announced that all processes for establishing the phase 1 of the SAPZ have been completed and disbursement for states kick-started, expression of Interest have been received from 27 states, while guidance letters have been sent to 27 Governors (TOR for studies and request to provide focal points).

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