- The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has stated that Ned Nwoko who is one of the consultants in the recovery of the Paris Club refunds, is not telling the entire truth
- According to the governors in a statement, the total debt owed to Nwoko's firm is $69 million and not $418 million
- They also accused the Attorney-General of the Federal of plundering Nigeria's treasury to settle consultancy fees
The Nigeria Governors Forum has slammed Ned Nwoko over a statement that his firm is being owed $418 million from the Paris Club and London Club debt buyback funds.
The governors said that Nwoko's statement is a half-truth, stating his firm is owed just $68 million and not $418 million as claimed by Nwoko.
Malami and governors' war of words
Nwoko responded in a statement following the controversy that trailed his firm's demand for fees from the states and local governments in the country in Abuja on Saturday, August 20, 2022.
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He is the lead consultant at Linas International, the firm mediating the recovery of the Paris Club and London Club refunds between the federal and state governments.
A ThisDay report said that the controversy led the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to describe the governors' agitations as crying over spilt milk.
In weekly briefings by the Presidential Media Team on August 11, 2022, Malami spoke about issues surrounding the refund, saying that there is no basis for the governors' agitations regarding the deductions from the Paris Club refund, which was paid to the consultants,
Last Wednesday, August 17, 2022, the governors accused Malami of spearheading state funds deductions to settle consultancy fees.
Governors tackle Ned Nwoko
According to their reaction to Nwoko, the governors stated on Sunday, August 21, 2022, via Abdulrazue Bello-Barkido, Director, Media and Public Affairs at the NGF Secretariat, said they were not surprised by Nwoko's attempts to paint the lies and make them appear as truth.
Bello-Barkindo slammed Malami over the deductions to justify plundering the huge amount to the tune of $418 million from public coffers.
He said Ned Nwoko attempted to blur the real facts and legal issues by dishing lies and half-truths.
Breakdown of the debts
Also, the governors stated that all the claims by the consultants were contained in suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/130/13 between Linas International Ltd & 35 and others, and the Federal Government of Nigeria & 3 others.
The Nwoko instituted and was given 20 per cent of the sum of $3,188,078,505.96 from the state and local government's Paris Club refunds.
The statement by the governors said the judgement had been challenged on appeal by the states and NGF: Attorney General Of Abia State & 35 others Vs Linas International Ltd & 239 others.
States in Nigeria with the highest external debts as national debt stock hits $41.77 billion
Legit.ng reported that according to the Debt Manage Management Office (DMO), Nigeria’s debt stock has hit about $41.77 billion as of March 2022.
A good number of these debts are external borrowings by states in Nigeria which contribute a large chunk of the total debt stocks.
Of the total external debt stock, Lagos State, Kaduna and Cross River are the leading states in Nigeria.