The federal government says states that are not interested in collecting the ₦5 billion palliatives loan announced on Thursday can opt out and return the initial ₦2 billion disbursed to them.
A statement signed by Asishana Okauru the director general of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), said the offer is “optional” and urged states who are not interested to refund the N2b already disbursed to them.
“Your excellency is invited to note that this offer is optional and states that do not wish to participate may opt-out and refund the N2 billion already disbursed to them.”
According to the terms of the facility, contained in the memo to the Governors, a total of N4,000,000,000.00, will be disbursed as follows Loan (48%): N1,920,000,000.00 FGN Grant: (52%) N2,080,000,000.00 Beneficiary each state government Repayment period: 20 months.
The facility which carries a moratorium of three months, is also interest free, while a monthly deduction of N120,000,000.00, after three months applies.
Chairman of the Nigeria Governor Forum and Governor of Kwara state, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, also confirmed the receipt of N2 billion of the N5 billion announced by the federal government.
According to the arrangements, while the states are expected to get N4billion in cash, N1b will come in form of food stuff, 40,000 bags of maize, precisely.
The NGF Chairman in a statement on Saturday, stated that “We have received N2bn out of the N4bn relief funds that the Federal Government released to states for the purchase of rice to be distributed en masse to vulnerable members of the public to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.
“We await a balance of N2bn of the funds as well as N1bn worth of maize (40,000 bags) which the Central Bank of Nigeria is selling to each state from the national strategic reserve”.
“It is however important to mention that 48% (N1,920,000,000.00) of the N4bn is a noninterest loan that will be paid back over a period of 20 months at N120,000,000.00 monthly.
“Consequently, I have ordered the immediate purchase of rice in the value of the amount”.
AbdulRasaq announced that the state government has set up a committee headed by the state Police Commissioner, Oluwarotimi Adelesi, to ensure transparency and supervise distribution of the essential items.
“For transparency and fairness to all, distribution of the palliatives will be overseen exclusively by a committee headed by the Kwara State Police Commissioner Ebun Oluwarotimi Adelesi, who will be supported by the Emir of Shonga, Haliru Yahya, religious leaders, civil society leaders, and other important stakeholders in the state.
“ We also confirm receipt of the remaining three trucks of the bags of rice donated to our state by the Federal Government. The distribution has commenced through various channels of reaching out to the public, including lawmakers who represent the 24 state constituencies and other stakeholders in the state.”
He also charged those saddled with the responsibility of distributing these palliatives to do so in the spirit of fairness to all, particularly to the most vulnerable persons, because it is simply impractical for everyone to get at the same time.
This is just as he also appealed to members of the public to remain patient and calm as multi-layered steps are being taken in phases, including huge interventions to support massive food production, local production of gas-powered vehicles, support for small and medium scale enterprises, manufacturing and other businesses, to boost the economy and ease the difficulties arising from the removal of fuel subsidy.
He applauded President Bola Tinubu, for the several initiatives of the Federal Government to bring ease to the people. I reassure all Kwarans of our commitments to their welfare at this time and always.