NGF: Only court will decide $418m Paris Club refund, power plants’ sale
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has resolved to sustain legal action against the disbursement of $418 million Paris Club refund and promissory notes issued to consultants by the federal ministry of finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO).
In a communique released after its 8th teleconference meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, Aminu Tambuwal, Sokoto state governor and chairman of NGF, said the governors are determined to explore all legal channels available in ensuring that the fee is not paid to consultants.
There has been controversy over consultancy fees amounting to $418 million from the Paris Club refund.
“Regarding the $418 Million Paris Club Refund and promissory notes issued to Consultants by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO), the Forum remains resolute in exploring all legal channels available to it in ensuring that resources belonging to states are not unjustly or illegally paid to a few in the guise of consultancies,” he said.
Tambuwal said the 36 state governors also instructed their lawyers to approach the federal high court to stop the proposed privatisation of ten National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).
“The Forum following its advocacy that the proposed privatization of Ten (10) National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) should be stopped, instructed its lawyers to approach the Federal High Court which at present has issued a Court Order restraining all the parties in the suit from taking any step or action that will make or render the outcome of the motion on notice seeking for interlocutory injunction nugatory,” the communique reads.
“The effect of the order of the Court is that respondents cannot proceed with the proposed sale of the power plants belonging to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHCL) until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”
Tambuwal said the governors also deliberated on national issues such as monitoring the flood situation, polio immunisation, and digitalisation of immigration processes.
“The forum is monitoring the flood situation across the country and working with the Federal Government through the National Economic Council (NEC) and in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHDSD), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) and the World Bank to prepare emergency interventions to ameliorate the impact of the flood crisis especially to sustain food security,” the communique reads.
“Members were also briefed by the World Bank Task Team Leader (TTL), Professor Foluso Okunmadewa, on the desired restructuring of the $750 million Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Program (CARES) programme to respond to Nigeria 2022 Flood Response following discussions with States and the National Economic Council (NEC) Ad hoc Committee on Flooding.
“Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, briefed the Forum on the congestion of the custodial centers across the country and the digitalisation of immigration processes.
“Members welcomed the report of the minister and committed to working with law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on the recommendations put forward as they relate to individual State jurisdiction.
“Finally, Ahmad Abdulwahab, NGF senior health advisor, briefed the Forum on the progress with Polio/Routine Immunization highlighting that there has been an 85% reduction in the number of Circulating Vaccine-Derived PolioVirus (cVDPV) in 2022 from 1,028 cases recorded in 2021.
“Members were also provided update on the implementation progress of the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (CoPREP) and the recently launched Primary Health Care (PHC) Leadership Challenge.”