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Saraki Replies Buhari, Says The President Is Misinformed About Debts Payable To States

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Saraki Replies Buhari On Delta, Taraba States

Senate President Bukola Saraki has suggested that President Muhammadu Buhari must have been misinformed by his aides on the debts payable to some states.

The Senate President maintained that the National Assembly approved the exact amount passed to it by the executive on debts payable to certain states.

Naija News recalls Dr Saraki said this in response to a statement which is said to have come from the President, accusing the National Assembly of inflating debt figures meant to be paid to deserving states.

The President had on Tuesday said the total amount approved by the national assembly to Delta and Taraba states was higher than the amount approved by the federal executive council (FEC).

But in a statement issued on Wednesday, Yusuph Olaniyonu, media aide to Saraki, said the Senate approved “the exact figures for Taraba and Delta states that was submitted to it by the executive through the ministry of finance as stated on page 402 of a document titled ‘Federal Ministry of Finance Submission of Federal Government of Nigeria Outstanding Liabilities to National Assembly, May, 2018’.”

“The Senate has noted that the letter by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate in which he claimed that National Assembly approval for refunds to Delta and Taraba State Governments through the issuance of Promissory Notes, for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government was different from what the Federal Executive Council approved and the reports in the media over the issue were wrong and must have resulted from misinformation to the President by his aides,” he said.

“The president had claimed in his letter to the National Assembly dated March 5, 2019 that ‘While the Federal Executive Council approved a total sum of N78, 601, 631, 430.16 as reimbursement to Delta and Taraba State Governments, the National Assembly approved N90, 236,461, 031.36, which is higher than the amount approved by the Federal Executive Council’.

“The Senate would like to clarify that the breakdown which the Executive through the Ministry of Finance submitted to the National Assembly showed that the outstanding liability due to Taraba State is N22, 254,062,330.08 while that of Delta is N67, 982, 398, 701. 28 while the total for the two states is N90, 236, 461, 031. 36.

“Therefore, the National Assembly approved the figures submitted to it by the Ministry of Finance as approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government. At no time did the executive forwarded the figure of N78, 601, 631, 430, 16 to us and we do not know where the President got that figure from.”

Olaniyonu said the clarifications became necessary in order to set the records straight and clear the minds of the general public.

“We believe the President must have been misinformed and misadvised by his aides while writing the letter he sent on this issue to the National Assembly,” he added.

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