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Why we can’t disclose how states spent N388.3b Paris club refund – FG



-FG can’t determine how states will spend their shares of the London Paris Club refund. 

-This is because the accountant general can not interfere in how state funds are been managed.

FG refuses to divulge details of how states managed the Paris club refunds so far given to them.

The federal government through the accountant general of the federation, Ahmed Idris, says it can’t reveal details of how states that benefited from the  N388.304 billion London Paris club loan refunds utilized their shares due to professional and confidential reasons.

The accountant general made the statement in response to a suit filed by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), seeking the court to mandate the government to make public, details of how each state that benefited from the fund utilized the money.

SERAP had filed a suit seeking “an order of mandamus directing and/or compelling the government to publish details of spending of N388.304billion London Paris club loan refunds allegedly diverted and mismanaged by 35 states.”

The federal government, however, explained that each state has a right to spend funds allocated to it in the best way it seems fit, adding that professional confidentiality must be maintained between the states and the federal government.

“The relationship between the accountant-general and the 35 states is professional and confidential,” SERAP quoted the federal government as saying.

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“It is a fiduciary one akin to that between a bank and its customer and allied professionals.

“On that score, record of the spending of N388.304 billion London Paris club loan refunds by the 35 states is exempted from publication, assuming the federal government has the information sought by SERAP.”

“States have exclusive control over their revenue and expenditure and the accountant general of the federation cannot demand obligatorily from any tier of government including the 35 states information how they have spent the Paris club refunds.”

The federal government has so far released N388.304 billion of the N522.74 billion to 35 states as refunds of over-deductions on London-Paris club loans.

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