NIGERIA’S President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to approve the payment of N10.069billion as settlement of promissory note to the Kogi State Government.
Nigeria Senate Ahmad Lawan read Buhari’s letter of request during Tuesday plenary session.
“Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan reads a letter from Mr President requesting for the resolution of the National Assembly on the issuance of N10.069billion for promissory note programme of Kogi State and a Bond issuance to settle inherited debt,” Nigerian Senate
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday urged the National Assembly not to give N10.069billion to Governor Yahaya Bello.
The PDP urged the National Assembly to invoke its statutory powers and directly channel the N10.069 billion presidential funds for payment of salaries and pensions of suffering Kogi state workers.
Buhari, in the letter read at plenary, requested for the resolution of the National Assembly for the issuance of the promissory note to the state government.
“The request is hinged on the promissory note programme and bond issuance to settle inherited local debt and contractual obligations of the Federal Government.
“This is based on my request for the resolution of the National Assembly approving the establishment of a promissory note programme and the bond issuance to settle inherited local debts and contractual obligation by the Federal Government.
“The 8th National Assembly passed resolutions approving issuance of promissory notes for refund to state governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.”
He said the National Assembly had approved the issuance of promissory notes to 24 out of the 25 states that requested for them.
According to him, only Kogi, with an outstanding claim of N10.069 billion, was yet to be approved.
“Accordingly, the Senate is hereby requested to kindly approve the issuance of promissory note in the sum of N10.69 billion to Kogi State for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government,” the president said.
Lawan, however, referred the matter to the Committee on Local Debts for further legislative input and report back to the Senate in two weeks.
PDP, in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that it is scandalous that the Buhari presidency, with its claims of transparency and integrity, would seek to mislead the National Assembly by asserting that the fund is for projects done by the state government on behalf of the Federal Government, when in reality no one can point to any such project executed by Governor Yahaya Bello in the last four years.
The party described as endorsement of corruption and inexcusable injury to the people of Kogi State for President Buhari to seek to direct funds to Governor Bello for phantom projects, and neglect the Kogi workers many of whom are owed salaries and pension in arrears of 36 months.
“Such action by Mr. President further confirms that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is directly in league with Governor Yahaya Bello to strangulate the people of Kogi State,” it said.
“Mr. President cannot claim to be unaware of the critical situation of workers in Kogi State at moment. He cannot claim to be unaware that workers in Kogi State are being owed, in some cases up to 36 months, and that retirees and senior citizens are dying over non payments of their pensions after giving the best of their lives in public service,” the party said.
The party charged the legislature to be on the side of the people by applying its legislative instruments to commence an immediate investigation into the alleged squandering of over N700 billion Kogi State funds by the Bello administration in the last four years.
“If the Buhari presidency means well for Kogi State, it should reword its request and put the interest of the masses ahead of all selfish and parochial political considerations, particularly as the state approaches a critical election in which the people have made up their minds to vote out Governor Yahaya Bello.