Barely four weeks to the November 16 governorship elections in Kogi State, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, wrote the Senate, seeking approval to refund the sum of N10.069bn to the government of Governor Yahaya Bello, being the amount spent on behalf of Federal government.
The request, contained in a letter dated October 10, 2019, and read by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, during plenary, is to enable the state settle “inherited local debts and contractual obligations of the Federal Government to the State for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.”
President Buhari recalled that 24 of 25 state governments in the country have so far received the approval of the National Assembly for the settlement of claims on projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government, adding that Kogi is the only State yet to receive a refund.
In his letter, Buhari recalled “that, based on my request for the Resolution of the National Assembly approving the establishment of a promissory note programme and a Bond Issuance to settle inherited Local Debts and Contractual Obligations of the Federal Government, the 8th National Assembly passed Resolutions approving the Issuance of Promissory Notes to refund State Governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.
“The Resolutions of the 8th Assembly were conveyed through three different letters from the Clerk of the National Assembly as follows: Letter dated July 27, 2018, and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.10/277 which approved the Issuance of Promissory notes to 21 states.
“Letter dated January 29, 2019, and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.11/004 which approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to Delta and Taraba States; and letter dated May 23, 2019, and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.11/164 which approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to Bauchi State.”
“The three Resolutions approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to 24 out of the 25 State Governments requested, and the only State for which approval has not been given is Kogi State, with an outstanding claim of N10,069,692,410.15 (Ten billion, Sixty-Nine million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Two thousand, Four Hundred and Ten Naira, Fifteen Kobo).
“The Senate may wish to note that, subsequent to Resolutions of the National Assembly approving the refunds to the 24 State Governments, the Federal Government has issued Promissory Notes to all the approved States for the settlement of their claims.
“Accordingly, the Senate is hereby requested to kindly approve, the Issuance of a Promissory Note in the sum of N10, 069,692,410.15 as a refund to Kogi State Government for Projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.”
The Senate President referred President Buhari’s request to the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts for further legislative work.