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Buhari suspends $418 million Paris Club refund plan as ministers clash at FEC

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, to suspend plans to begin the deduction of $418 million Paris Club refund allegedly owed four contractors from the federation account, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

Sources privy to details of the Executive Council of the Federation’s deliberations told this newspaper that the president gave the directive at the FEC meeting of August 3, where the matter was extensively discussed.

Governors of Nigerian states under the umbrella of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) had last week resisted attempts to commence the deduction plan. The governors, in a letter to the federal government, through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, argued that an attempt to restart the deduction process, which is being challenged in the courts and for which the Supreme Court has made a pronouncement, would be unconstitutional.

The letter, signed by the Chairman of the NGF and outgoing governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, described the new move as an “attempt by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, and the Minister of Finance (HMF) to circumvent the law and the recent judgement of the Supreme Court by surreptitiously securing the approval of the FEC to effect payment of the sum of $418 million to four contractors who allegedly executed contracts in respect of the Paris Club refunds to the states and local governments.”

Buhari’s…

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