President Muhammadu Buhari has accused the national assembly of inflating the debt of the federal government to states.
The national assembly had approved the refund of N488.7 billion to state governments for projects they executed on behalf of the federal government.
But in a letter read on the floor of the upper legislative chamber by Senate President Bukola Saraki on Tuesday, Buhari said while the federal executive council (FEC) approved N487,842,888,574.74, the national assembly approved N488,743,526,204.77.
The president said the assembly approved “N890,537,630,03 higher than the amount approved by FEC.”
“You may wish to refer to the letter from the national assembly REF:NASS/CNA/106/Vol.10/277 dated 27 th of July 2018 which communicated the approval by the national assembly of the promissory note programme and a bond issuance to settle inherited local debts and contractual obligations on refund to state governments on projects executed on behalf of the federal government in the sum of N488,743,526,204.77,” he said.
“The senate may wish to know that in view of the approval by the national assembly, the following were observed:
“While the federal executive council (FEC) approved the total of N487,842,888,574.74 only, as reimbursement to the state governments, the national assembly approved N488,743,526,204.77, implying that the amount approved by the national assembly was N890,537,630,03 higher than the amount approved by FEC.
“While FEC approved reimbursement to 25 states, national assembly approved reimbursement to 21 states.
“National assembly did not approve any reimbursement for four states; Bauchi, Delta, Kogi and Taraba whereas the FEC had approved reimbursement for them.”
The president said the amount approved by the national assembly for reimbursement for 21 states is higher than the amount approved by FEC for 25 states.
He said the amount presented to the national assembly by was duly approved by FEC.
“Furthermore, I wish to request for review of the reimbursement earlier submitted in favour of Bauchi, Delta, Kogi and Taraba Sates. Meanwhile, the federal government shall proceed with the implementation on the following basis: Where the amount approved by the National Assembly is the same as the amount approved by FEC, the jointly approved amount will be reimbursed,” Buhari said.
“The states ate Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano and Niger. Where the amount approved by the National Assembly is higher than the amount approved by FEC, the amount approved by FEC will be reimbursed.
“The states are Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Ebonyi, Benue, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Kwara, Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Plateau and Zamfara and where no amount is approved by national assembly, no reimbursement will be made. The afftected states are Bauchi, Delta, Kogi and Taraba.”