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FG says no more Paris Club refund to states

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The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, on Monday, said there would be no fresh  tranche of Paris Club refunds to be disbursed to  states, as that had already been doled out to them in March this year.

While advising states not to salivate in anticipation of a fresh round of disbursements, the Minister explained that N691.560 billion Paris Club refundwas shared to the states in March through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) following a thorough verification exercise.

The Minister made the clarification following news making the rounds in the media that states will soon receive fresh disbursement of outstanding balance of the Paris Club debts.

She further clarified that N691.560 billion was doled out to the states by Ministry instead of N649.434 billion, adding that the disparity was due to exchange rate differentials at the point of payment.

“Instead of the total sum of N649.434 billion that was verified, a total of N691.560 billion was paid. The Minister also pointed to her address at the recent World Press Conference in Abuja, which reads thus; “For the final phase of the Paris Club debts refunds, the total sum of N649.434 billion was verified by the Ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the State governments. The payments made by the CBN as at March 2019, is N691.560 billion. The increase in CBN payments partly arose from exchange rate differential at the point of payment”, she said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said yesterday that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 2.01 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the first quarter of 2019.

The NBS said this in its “Nigeria GDP Report for First Quarter 2019’’ released on Monday in Abuja.

According to the NBS, the figure is 0.12 per cent higher than the growth rate of 1.89 per cent recorded in the first quarter of 2018.

It however, said the figure, relative to the fourth quarter 2018, showed a decline by -0.38 per cent points.

According to the bureau, the strong performance recorded in the quarter may be due to general elections held within the review period.It said the aggregate GDP stood at N31,79 million in nominal terms.

The bureau said the figure was higher than N28,43 million recorded in the first quarter of 2018, representing a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 11.80 per cent.

According to the NBS, the aggregate is however lower than the preceding quarter’s N35,23 million by -9.75 per cent. It said the nominal GDP growth rate in the first quarter was also higher than the rate recorded in the first quarter of 2018 by 2.54 per cent points

THE SUN

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