Federal Projects: Senate approves N102bn refund to Delta, Taraba States
The Senate has approved promissory notes and bond issuances of N102.2 billion to Delta and Taraba States as refunds for projects executed on behalf of the federal government.
While N67.9 billion was approved for Delta State, N34.3 billion was approved for Taraba State.
The Senate also approved N43.5 billion as payment for ”contractors liabilities”.
The contractors are Setraco Nigeria Limited (N37.4 billion); Bouygues Nigeria Limited (N4.6 billion); Simidia S&I International Company Limited (N346 million); Hamdala Homes &Agencies Limited (N210.6 million) and Lejmej Nigeria Limited N960 million.
The approval was a sequel to the adoption of the interim report of the ad-hoc committee set to consider the Promissory Note Programme and a Bond Issuance to Settle Inherited Local Debts and Contractual Obligations on the refund to state governments for projects executed on behalf of the federal government.
A promissory note is a debt instrument which one party promises in writing to pay a determinate sum of money to the other, either at a fixed or determinable future time, under specific terms.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in March written to the National Assembly, seeking its approval for the issuance of promissory notes to offset inherited local debts.
The Senate eventually resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to look into the programme and advise the Senate appropriately.
Presenting the report, the chairman of the committee, Francis Alimekhena, noted that the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme– an incentive of the federal government, aimed at supporting active exporters in expanding their businesses, also helps in the diversification of the Nigerian economy.
He explained that beneficiaries of the scheme have not been paid since 2007 up to the compilation period in 2016/2017 a backlog which he said affected the liquidity strength of most of the companies. This he said, has resulted in difficulty of loan repayment and meeting of employee’s obligations.
Mr Alimekhena said most of the federal highways were in a state of disrepair before the state intervention adding that inspections were carried out by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on all roads completed by the states to ascertain the quality of work done.
In his remark, Shehu Sani said the report brings an end to the long period of wait and the stagnation the companies have faced especially in terms of meeting their daily obligations, especially to their workers.
Also approved by the lawmakers, is the sum of N193 billion to clear outstanding claims of 269 verified companies (who are beneficiaries of the EEG.