SUBJECT: PARIS CLUB FUND: WHAT IMO HAS IS N13.5BILLION & NOT N80BILLION AS BEEN CLAIMED BY A SECTION OF THE MEDIA – GOV. OKOROCHA
-SAYS PRESIDENT BUHARI UNDERSTANDS THE PROBLEMS OF THE NIGER – DELTA PEOPLE
Governor Rochas Okorocha has said that what Imo State has from the Paris Club Fund is N13.5 billion and not N80 billion as been falsely claimed by a section of the media and wished that he would have such amount to build a state of his dream.
Governor Okorocha spoke in an interview with journalists after he had received the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport who was visiting Umuahia, Abia State on Friday, March 24, 2017, adding that there has been a complete misinformation on the issue of the Paris Club Fund.
His words, “The truth is that the Federal Government owes the states as it has been said on papers. For Imo State, it is N13.5billion coming to the state and not N80billion as been alleged. With N80billion I will change Imo to London. The N13.5billion coming to the state can only pay two months salaries and pension if used in that direction. So, it is not a big deal though it is helpful”.
He continued, “The N80billion is actually the amount been owed the state, but it is not what is agreed on or what was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for payment. There is a complete misinformation on the issue of the Paris Club Fund”.
On the reason the Vice-President, Professor Osinbajo was going to Abia State, Governor Okorocha said “I think it is a welcome development that the people of Niger-Delta are getting a sense of belonging, which has been the main problem. Neglect does not really mean the absence of cash or fund. It could actually mean the absence of communication which is causing the misunderstanding”.
He added, “Now that the Vice-President is going round and reassuring the people of the Niger-Delta that the Federal Government cares and now understands their problems, things will change. I commend this wonderful programme of reaching out to the Niger-Delta people because I believe it is the only way to get a lasting and sustainable peace”.
The governor also spoke on Nnamdi Kanu, saying, “I equally recommend that the Federal Government should look into the issue of Nnamdi Kanu and get him released so that they don’t make out a hero of him out of nothing. They should release him and let the leaders of the South-East talk to him to desist from such acts in the future because it is an agitation not well presented. Presented in the form of sovereignty, form of war and that’s the anger of the Federal Government. I don’t think that is the intent of the young man. It should be seen as youthful exuberance and be released”.
He assured that he “will try to bring some leaders from the South-East to make a case for him because his continuous incarceration will make him a hero for nothing. He castigated everybody including myself, his choice of words is why he is not enjoying the sympathy of most people, so lets see it as youthful exuberance. This will go a long way in showing everyone a sense of reconciliation and forgiveness which the country is in dire need of now to move forward”.