CBN begins deduction of $2.1b budget support facility from states’ allocation.

Repayment of $2.1 billion Budget Support Facility granted to states by the Federal Government will begin this month, it was announced at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting on Thursday.

The Federal Government through the Central bank of Nigerian (CBN) in July 2015 made available the facility when many states were unable to pay salaries and wages to their workers.

Only Lagos State did not obtain the facility.

States have been lobbying for deferment of payment until when Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki accused the apex bank of printing naira to shore up the shortfall.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele who denied Obaseki’s claim said it was time for states to start repayment of the facility.

The states lobbied again to extend the time while Emefiele insisted. This led to the issue being referred to NEC for intervention.

On Thursday at its 118th meeting, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed said an agreement had been reached to start the deduction from the end of this month.

She said the CBN will however provide a bridge financing facility to states.

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