Paris Club Refund: Govs Ask Banks To Stop $418m Consultants Pay
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has asked banks not to proceed with the payment of $418.9 million to consultants as directed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
The minister had directed the Debt Management Office (DMO) to issue promissory notes to contractors and consultants relating to Paris and London Club refunds despite pending court cases.
Through a letter signed by P.H. Ogbole, an advocate for NGF, the governors called for the disregard of the promissory notes.
The letter was addressed to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the finance minister, the Director-General, DMO and MD/CEOS/compliance officers of all commercial banks.
The letter stated that, “it must be noted that custodians and managers of public funds are public trustees and must at all times act in the public interest. In this case, the interest of all the states and local governments of the federation are involved and ought to be protected by the Hon. Minister of Finance.
“The issuance of promissory notes of a humongous sum of over $418 million to private persons for alleged consultancy work demands not only caution but strict due diligence; particularly when the judgements which gave rise to the payments sought to be enforced are the subject of pending litigation.
“All Chief Executives of Banks and their compliance officers are hereby advised to desist from or otherwise not to accept for exchange or process for payment or giving value to any promissory notes issued by the DMO for the purpose of satisfying alleged Paris Club consultants fees afore-mentioned.”