President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday asked the Senate to consider for approval N10.069 billion Promissory Note for Kogi State, being outstanding claims due the state government on projects executed by it on behalf of the Federal Government.
Also, the President also forwarded the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) Amendment Bill 2019 to the upper chamber of the National Assembly for urgent consideration and passage.
The President’s requests were contained in a letter sent to the Senate and which was read at plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
In the letter, President Buhari recalled that 24 out of 25 State Governments had received the approval of the National Assembly for the settlement of claims on projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government, leaving only Kogi State to reclaim.
The letter reads: “The Distinguished Senate President would recall that, based on my request for the Resolution of the National Assembly approving the establishment of a promissory note programme and a Bond Issuance to settle inherited Local Debts and Contractual Obligations of the Federal Government, the 8th National Assembly passed Resolutions approving the Issuance of Promissory Notes to refund State Governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.
“The Resolutions of the 8th Assembly were conveyed through three different letters from the Clerk of the National Assembly as follows: Letter dated July 27, 2018 and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.10/277 which approved the Issuance of Promissory notes to 21 states.
“Letter dated January 29, 2019 and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.11/004 which approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to Delta and Taraba States; and letter dated May 23, 2019 and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.11/164 which approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to Bauchi State.”
“The three Resolutions approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to 24 out of the 25 State Governments requested, and the only State for which approval has not been given is Kogi State, with an outstanding claim of N10,069,692,410.15 (Ten billion, Sixty-Nine million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Two thousand, Four Hundred and Ten Naira, Fifteen Kobo).
“The Senate may wish to note that, subsequent to Resolutions of the National Assembly approving the refunds to the 24 State Governments, the Federal Government has issued Promissory Notes to all the approved States for the settlement of their claims.
“Accordingly, the Senate is hereby requested to kindly approve, the Issuance of a Promissory Note in the sum of N10, 069,692,410.15 as refund to Kogi State Government for Projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government”, the President added.
Following the reading of the letters at plenary, the Senate President referred the President’s request to the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts for legislative work and the committee is expected to report back at plenary in two weeks.
Similarly, in the PSC (Amendment) Bill 2019 letter which was read also at plenary, the President stated that the Bill was forwarded for passage with amended provisions with a view to making the provisions reflect the current fiscal realities in the oil and gas sector.
President Buhari maintained that the passage of the bill and subsequent signing into law would impact positively on current efforts by government to improve revenues from the oil and gas industry to fund the N10.33trillion projected expenditure in the 2020 budget and subsequent years.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had on Monday (yesterday) during her budget briefings in Abuja disclosed that the President would send the PSC (Amendment) Bill 2019 to the National Assembly for consideration.
She explained that the passage of the bill would catalyze government’s ongoing revenue generation efforts and minimize the funding gap in the fiscal 2020 year.