Benue State Government has confirmed receipt of the second tranche of Paris Club refund.
The State Acting Governor, Benson Abouno made the disclosure on Tuesday while briefing newsmen at the Benue People’s House Makurdi, shortly after a meeting with union leaders in the state.
The Deputy Governor said N6.460 billion was given to the state, about half of what was being expected.
This excludes the 5 per cent consultancy fee charged on the amount payable to all the states of the federation.
According to him, the amount represents 12.5 per cent of the total amount of Paris Club refund payable to the state.
Abouno said the disclosure was in fulfilment of Governor Ortom’s policy of transparency and accountability in the discharge of his duties.
He further stated that a substantial part of the money would be channelled to payment of workers’ salaries.
He said, “Let me make it abundantly clear to the general public that we were expecting 25 per cent; that is one quarter of the total payment as the second tranche. The first tranche you will recall was 25 per cent of the total amount payable and we were expecting the same amount for the second tranche.
“But unfortunately, probably due to paucity of funds, only half of that 25 per cent; in other words, half of one quarter is what we have just received as the second tranche. And the total amount comes to N6.8 billion less 5 per cent of the consultancy fee, which is the percentage that was generally accepted by all the states of the federation. And so if you take away 5 per cent of N6.8 billion, what is left to be utilized by Benue State is N6.460 billion.”
The Acting Governor also revealed that government was making steady progress in her negotiations with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Benue State University chapter in her quest to end the industrial dispute embarked upon by the union about two months ago.