The Osun State government says it did not receive any Paris Club refunds from the federal government of Nigeria.
The government said this to quell a protest by some pensioners in the state requesting payment of 15 months' pension arrears on Tuesday.
The protesters had maintained that despite the collection of Paris Club refund, the state government had refused to pay pensions to former workers of the state.
Head of the Pensioners, Mr. Yemi Lawal, claimed that they had information that the government had received N6.3 billion of the Paris Club refund and insisted that their entitlements must be paid before the money was diverted.
Mr. Adeniyi Adeshina, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Gboyega Oyetola, in a statement said the state had not collected any refund.
“It is an absolute falsehood for any group of people to be claiming that some amount of intervention fund has been made available to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led administration.
“Paris Club refund or any refund in any form is never secretly disbursed.
“Such payments are publicly announced and Oyetola at the inception of his administration promised to run a transparent government. He is not going to renege on this,” Adeniyi said.
Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s ex-Minister of Finance, had in May 2019 said the federal government would issue the last tranche of the Paris Club refund.
The refund was basically meant for the payment of salary arrears and other obligations, thereby alleviating the challenges workers face.
“For the final phase of the Paris Club debts refunds, the total sum of N649.434 billion was verified by the ministry as the outstanding balance to be paid to the state governments,” the minister had said.