Crisis hit Governors’ Forum over Paris Club debt refund

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OrijoReporter.com, Crisis hit Governors' Forum over Paris Club debt refund

A crisis has hit the fold of the Governor’s Forum following bad feelings generated by how Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai is handling the issue of the reimbursement to the 36 states of about N522.74 billion over-deduction on foreign loans.

Read also: GOV. EL-RUFAI SAYS HE IS UNDER SPIRITUAL ATTACK

Recall the process for the refund started with the engagement of consultant to reconcile the account with Central Bank of Nigeria and Federal Government before Buhari emerged as president.

Some of the consultants engaged had started skeletal works while talks were on finalizing on commission percentages. One of them is a lawyer from South West who was appointed in 2015 by the Forum.

However, thing took a new turn following the last general elections which saw some governors exited the Forum and new power blocks emerged.

According to source, some of the arrangements were said to have been altered. It was alleged that Gov. El-Rufai single-handedly appointed one Jimi Lawal as consultant in September 2016.

An appointment that gave the Kaduna governor edge over his governor colleagues, it was said that not few governors opposed the appointment. The Forum’s payment of 5% of the total fund to Lawal as consultancy fee was said to have also caused trouble among the governors.

“El-Rufai has cornered huge fund under the guise of paying consultant fee of 5% of the total fund to his crony, Jimi Lawal.

“And now with twenty five percent of the fund remitted to the Forum, others are yet to be paid except Kaduna State.

“Also El-Rufai unilaterally bought a property opposite Senate President Bukola Saraki’s Maitama residence on behalf of the Forum as the Secretariat despite the fact there is constituted committee to handle such purchase.

“His colleagues later found out that the house he bought for the forum was one of his numerous houses in Abuja,” sources with the Forum privy to what is happening told our correspondent.

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