Kwara to offset debt with excess crude account deductions

The Kwara state executive council has approved offset of its local debt stock with the outstanding payment of its share of the federal government’s unauthorised deductions from excess crude accounts between 2009 and 2015.

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum is proposing that each state converts its balance of the deduction to what it equals in its debt to the federal government, thereby leading to a drop in or zero debt burdens for the state.

In a memo presented to the executive council, Monday, Commissioner of Finance, Mrs Olasumbo Oyeyemi, urged the council to authorise the federal government to settle and defray the state government’s domestic debt to it from the outstanding balance of 60% due to the state from the refunds on the unauthorised debits in the ECA, Petroleum Profit Tax and Royalties Account.

A statement by the state’s Commissioner for Communications, Abubakar Saddiq Buhari, quoted the memo as saying, “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% cannot defray all the state government’s domestic debt to the federal government, the Federal Ministry of Finance will continue the deduction directly from the FAAC share of the state government as being done before.”

He said the council’s approval would be transmitted to the House of Assembly for legislative consent.

The council meanwhile has also approved the commencement of the Islamic Development Bank-funded Special Agroprocessing Zone (SAPZ) with payment of the counterparts funding for the project which would strengthen food security, create thousands of jobs, promote infrastructural development, and lessen the perennial clashes between farmers and herders.