By Mumini AbdulKareem
The last tranche of the Paris Club loan refund may hit Kwara and other states this week as governors of the 36 states of the country have been scheduled to meet President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Tuesday, over the issue.
National Pilot gathered modalities for the payment is expected to commence when the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun returns to the country from the United States.
Adeosun is presently in Washington with the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele for the 2017 Annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group but expected to back this week.
Recall that the FG released the second tranche in July to states across the federation which totalled N516.38 billion.
The Finance Ministry through a statement by its Director of Press, Salisu Dambatta had said that the release was conditional upon the payment of 50 per cent being applied to the payment of workers’ salaries and pensioners.
Kwara State got N10.3billion from the release which represented about 25 per cent of its claims as its share of the refunds.
But according to a source who confided in this medium over the issue, the last tranche may be received across the country this week.
The source said the scheduled meeting between President Buhari and the governors is meant to extract some commitment from the latter especially on the issue of payment of workers’ salaries and pensions.
“The last tranche of the money should be coming in this week to all the states all things being equal.
“The President just wants to extract some commitment from the governors on the issue of payment of salaries and pension which is very critical at this stage.
“You know the first two tranches had not really addressed the salaries of workers and pension and since this is the last tranche, the president feel the need to discuss the issue of salaries of workers and pensioners.
“There is the concern that if the issue of the salaries and pensions is not addressed by the refund, the problem might linger longer than expected which the presidency is trying to avoid.
“So once the Finance Minister returns from her trip, the computation and modalities for payment are expected to be completed and money disbursed to the states,” the source added.
Recall that the Kwara State Government said it expended the second tranche of the Paris Club refund in assisting local governments to offset part of their salary arrears and on critical projects. Also, the sum of N3.4bn was released to councils as their share for the first tranche received by the state.