July 19, 2017
Again, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has call on the Federal Government, FG to keep track of the second tranche of N243.79bn of the Paris Club Refund freshly released to the state governments of the Federation.
Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of CACOL recalled that the Centre had warned the FG when it made the announcement over a couple of months that it had made the decision to release the 2nd tranche of the Refund to ensure that the funds are deployed for the specific purposes they were released for. “And as specifically stated by the FG the funds are meant for the settlement of unpaid salaries and pension arrears of their workers in the respective states so that workers are able to feed their families, pay rent, school fees and any other basic need possible.” He added
“The tracking and vigilance that must be kept necessarily has to extend to making any diversion impossible and that the true beneficiaries that can assess the released funds. The plight of workers and pensioners across the country need not to be overemphasized for government to recognize the imperative of bringing some level of succor to assuage their hardships; having been made to pass through being owed several months of salaries and pensions for several months. Meanwhile, this at a time that the economy is in recession where basic needs of life have become barely assessable by the majority.”
Continuing, Adeniran said, “quite fundamentally too, the FG must revisit the first tranche of the Paris Club Refund following the apparent reality that the funds were mostly mismanaged and in some cases out-rightly embezzled. It must direct the appropriate anti-graft agencies to interrogate and investigate the situations that surrounded the reported diversion of part of the first tranche of the funds released to the states. Where the culpability of any governor, elected or appointed public officials is established, necessary judicial steps must be taken to ensure that justice is served on the guilty.”
“And like we had said, the anti-corruption agencies should be pro-active by keeping their lenses on the movement and handling of the funds and how it is been allocated in each state. This will help in reducing the impunity with which some of the governors divert, mismanage or embezzle funds meant for specific purposes, a kleptocratic attitude which leads to socio-economic crisis that increases the sufferings of the ordinary Nigerian.”