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Buhari disagrees with Senate over amount to be reimbursed to states

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has disagreed with the Senate over the total amount of money it approved to be reimbursed to state governments by the Federal Government.

This debt arose from projects carried out by state governments which ordinarily ought to have been done by the states on behalf of the Federal Government.

According to a letter Buhari wrote to the lawmakers, which was read on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved the sum of N487,8 billion to be reimbursed to 25 states, but the Senate raised the sum to N488,74 billion to be paid to 21 States. This represents an increase of over N890,5 million from the amount approved by FEC.

The Senate also left out four states from the list of states it approved for the reimbursement while increasing the amounts approved for each state except four.

Buhari, in his letter, noted that the amount approved by FEC was based on the recommendations of the Bureau of Public Procurement as required by the Public Procurement Act, and asked the lawmakers to forward to the executive arm of government the details of how they came about the increased figures for 17 other states.

“The amount approved by the National Assembly for reimbursement by 21 states are higher than the amounts approved by the Federal Executive Council for reimbursement to 25 states,” Buhari wrote.

“The amounts approved by the National Assembly for reimbursement to each of the 21 states is higher than the amounts approved by FEC to each of these states except for Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano and Niger.”

He, however, said that the executive will go ahead with the reimbursements as approved by FEC, while awaiting the Senate to review their decision on the four states whose reimbursements it did not approve, namely: Bauchi, Delta, Kogi, and Taraba State.

“Where the amount approved by the National Assembly is the same as the amount approved by FEC, the jointly approved amount will be reimbursed. The states are Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano and Niger,” Buhari’s letter read.

“Where the amount approved by the National Assembly is higher than the amount approved by FEC, the amount approved by FEC will be reimbursed. The states are Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Ebonyi, Benue, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Kwara, Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Plateau and Zamfara.

“And where no amount is approved by National Assembly, no reimbursement will be made. The affected states are Bauchi, Delta, Kogi and Taraba.”

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