Paris Club Refund wasn’t a gift, you can’t tell us how to spend it — Delta Governor

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[Delta]–Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State has said that the Paris Club Refund wasn’t a gift and as such the Federal Government cannot instruct states on how to expend it.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagu, he maintained that such instruction is both unconstitutional and undemocratic.

“The Paris refund, I hope you know that the money belongs to the states, it wasn’t a dash and not a bail out. It wasn’t a gift, it was what rightfully belongs to the states and the local governments and I know you know that we are running a tier of government that is independent and whose powers and responsibilities are guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution, as amended. This idea of media houses helping some persons to spread ignorance that somebody can be in Abuja and tell you how to spend your money is not how democracy works.

“If you are giving me a bailout, you can set the conditions that these are the conditions on which I’ll give you this bailout; you must use this money this way, in which way you can set the rules because you are the one giving. But when you are allocating my money to me, our priorities are different. Let us assume in Delta State we are not owing anybody salaries, are you going to say we keep the money until we begin to owe so that we can use it?” He asked.

He thereafter explained that the state made very judicious and transparent use of her share of the Paris Club Refund in assisting local governments and pensioners in the state.




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