19 states get N222b bailout funds



INDICATIONS have emerged that 19 out of the 27 states that applied for commercial bank loans to offset salary arrears in their respective states have received over N222 billion.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which is brokering the deal between deposit money banks and states, reiterated that the measure was to reduce debt burden of the states.

It also said the initiative was in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Economic Council (NEC) that the apex bank should arrange a bailout package for the states.

But the CBN spokesman, Malam Ibrahim Mu’azu, in Abuja at the weekend said that contrary to reports that Ogun State had accessed N20 billion, the actual amount is N18.9 billion.

He also said that while other states, which had benefitted from the bailout package opted for a 20-year repayment plan, only Ogun State took a 10-year tenor.

Although Mu’azu declined stating the various figures granted respective states, a source hinted that few states had received below N5 billion, while the majority was in double-digit figures.

The states that have accessed the loan are Abia (N14.15 billion), Kwara (N4.32 billion), Zamfara (N10.02 billion), Osun (N34.98 billion), Niger (N4.31 billion), Bauchi (N8.6 billion), Gombe (N16.46 billion), Adamawa (N2.38 billion), Ondo (N14.69) and Kebbi (N690 million).

Other states are Ekiti (N9.6 billion), Imo (N26.8 billion), Ebonyi (N4.1 billion), Plateau (N5.4 billion), Nasarawa (N8.3 billion), Sokoto (N10.1 billion), Edo (N3.2 billion) and Oyo (N26.6 billion), which were granted in the week.
The CBN spokesman had told the The Guardian that CBN was determined to broker the commercial loan for states, but that the challenge so far was that states are still sorting out their respective payroll troubles because of the issues of ghost workers.

He said that CBN is not giving any state any money, but that it is mediating the transaction between them and banks, as well as ensuring smooth process and effective implementation of the loans’ objectives.

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