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Paris Club Refund: Govs' Forum denies wrong-doing


Paris Club Refund: Govs' Forum denies wrong-doing

As controversy over the disbursement and utilisation of Paris Club loan refund by states continues, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), a platform pitching for the interest of state governors, has come out to deny any untoward dealings in the manner its members handled the loans disbursement.
The body further stated that it was not privy to how consultants engaged in the recovery process spent their entitled funds.
A statement released yesterday by the NGF, which was signed by its Head, Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, acknowl­edged that Melrose Gen­eral Services Limited was one of the consultants that was duly engaged and documented to facilitate the disbursement of the Paris Club Refund.
It also revealed that Melrose was also paid an amount commensurate to the services it provided, among other numerous consultants that were in­volved in the process.
The statement reads in part: “It is not in the NGF’s purview to determine how Melrose or other consult­ants disburse or utilise the consultancy fee paid to them. The NGF should therefore not be dragged into how its suppliers, lawyers, contractors and consultants spend their legitimate incomes and revenues.
“It may interest the public to know that the NGF is still being inundat­ed with claims from many other consultants from all over the country who had earlier been engaged and promised commission by the respective states”.
“The NGF maintains its earlier position that it has done nothing illegal as far as the disbursement of the Paris Club Refund to states and the consultants are concerned. The Forum has all necessary approv­als to act in the manner it did. Therefore, the mis­information in the media about the disbursement and insinuations being made concerning some governors that are being mentioned is outright mischief.
“We will like to state that the approval for the release of the second tranche of the Paris Club refund by President Mu­hammadu Buhari is indic­ative of his confidence in the NGF for the manner it handled the disbursement of the first tranche of the fund.
“The NGF would like to once again place it on record that it played an al­truistic and patriotic role in ensuring that it aided, as directed, approved and authorised by the Presi­dency, Federal Ministry of Finance, Office of the Ac­countant General of the Federation, Debt Manage­ment Office (DMO) and all other necessary agen­cies of government, the disbursement of the funds to entities and individuals lawfully entitled to it.

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