…Approves Commencement Of SAPZ, Extension Of KwaraLEARN
By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
Kwara State is set to offset its local debt stock, using the outstanding payments of its share in the Federal Government’s unauthorised deductions from Excess Crude Accounts between 2009 and 2015.
Recall that the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, is proposing that each state converts its balance of the deductions to what it equals in its debt to the Federal Government, which will lead to a drop in or zero debt burden for such state.
Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Kwara State governor, Rafiu Ajakaiye, in a statement, disclosed that the Finance Commissioner, Mrs Florence Oyeyemi, presented a memo to the State Executive Council meeting on Monday, where she urged the council to authorise the Federal Government to settle and defray the state government’s domestic debts.
This would, after authorisation by the state, be done from the outstanding balance of 60 per cent due to Kwara State from the refunds on the unauthorized debits in the ECA, Petroleum Profit Tax and Royalties Account.
The request has now, however, been approved by State Executive Council, SEC, to enable the state government offset from the local debts stock with the outstanding payments of its share of this Federal Government’s unauthorised deductions from the Excess Crude Accounts within the period.
The memo said that the balance of the debits, if any, would be credited/remitted to the state government’s account by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and “where the 60 per cent cannot defray all the state government’s domestic debt to the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Finance would continue the deduction directly from the FAAC share of the state government, as was being done before,” the statement added.
He disclosed that the council’s approval would be transmitted to the state House of Assembly for legislative consent.
Meanwhile, the council has also approved the commencement of the Islamic Development Bank, IDB-funded Special Agro-Processing Zone, SAPZ, with the payment of the counterparts funding for the project.
It is expected that the development would strengthen food security, create thousands of jobs, promote infrastructural developments, and lessen the perennial clashes between farmers and herders, Ajakaiye informed.
The statement also disclosed that the council approved the continuation of the KwaraLEARN Project, a project Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq had earlier said enabled the government to improve basic education as well as take control of the sector through technology and real-time data of the pupils, teachers aa well as their performances.