By Nathan Nwakamma
Bayelsa Government has dissociated itself from the purported hiring of consultants by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) for the first tranche of the Paris club refunds.
In a statement on Saturday, Mr Mazwell Ebibai, the state Commissioner for Finance, said the state government had no hands in the hiring of any consultant on the Paris Club refunds.
The statement came on the heels of reports that a revenue consultant had taken the 36 state governments to court over claims that it was retained to handle the refund.
The consultant also claimed that its fees were paid to an unidentified consultant.
“The Government did not and has never engaged the services of a Revenue Consultant in respect of the Paris Club over-deductions or refunds; neither has it paid any funds to any consultant.
“The policy thrust of the Restoration Government is to ensure accountability, transparency and high ethical standards in the conduct of Government business.
“The good people of Bayelsa State are assured that this Government will do all within its powers and resources to ensure that no unscrupulous consultant takes undue advantage of the Government,” Ebibai stated.
Bayelsa was yet to receive the second tranche of the Paris Club refunds disbursed in March, but received N14.5 billion in the first tranche in December, 2016.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had said that states must meet the condition that a monitoring and evaluation of the deployment of the first tranche by the state governments before accessing the second tranche.
The condition was to ensure that the refunds were judiciously utilised, particularly for payment of salaries. (NAN)