Kwara State Executive Council has approved for the state government to offset its local debt stock with the outstanding payments of its share of the Federal Government’s unauthorised deductions from Excess Crude Accounts between 2009 and 2015.

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum is proposing that each state converts its balance of the deductions to what it equals in its debt to the Federal Government, thereby leading to a drop in or zero debt burden for the state.

State Commissioner for Communications,. Abubakar Saddiq Buhari in a statement said the Commissioner of Finance, Mrs Olasumbo Florence Oyeyemi in a memo to the executive council on Monday, urged the council to authorise the Federal Government to settle and defray the state government’s domestic debt to it from the outstanding balance of 60% due to the state from the refunds on the unauthorized debits in the ECA, Petroleum Profit Tax and Royalties Account.

The memo said the balance of the debits, if any, would be credited/remitted to the state government’s account by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and “where the 60% cannot defray all the state government’s domestic debt to the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Finance will continue the deduction directly from the FAAC Share of the state government as being done before”.

The council approval would be transmitted to the House of Assembly for legislative consent.

The council meanwhile has also approved the commencement of the Islamic Development Bank-funded Special Agroprocessing Zone (SAPZ) with payment of the counterparts funding for the project which would strengthen food security, create thousands of jobs, promote infrastructural development, and lessen the perennial clashes between farmers and herders.

The council also approved the continuation of the KwaraLEARN, a project the Governor said has enabled the government to improve basic education as well as take control of the sector through technology and real-time data of the pupils, teachers and their performances.

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