A high level meeting of public officials of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and senior party members took place Wednesday at the Presidential Villa. It was unclear the central theme of the meeting but speculation was rife that the meeting was held to address national economic issues as well as the nagging litigation issues bugging some of its top members.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the meeting in the absence President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently out of the country on an official duty.
Party chieftains present at the meeting included Tinubu; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the party’s National Chairman; Segun Oni, National Vice Chairman, South-West; Senate President Saraki; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun and Senate Leader, Ali Ndume. Also present were Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; Imo State deputy governor, Prince Eze Madumere; a former interim chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande; Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, among others.
One official of the party hinted that top of the meeting’s agenda was the economy, particularly the rising criticism of the government’s handling of the issues around the currency, the Naira, dwindling oil revenue and the dire situation of some State Governments who are still pressing for further bailout.
Nigerian States had domestic debt outstanding of N1.6 trillion at the end of Dec. 2014, according to the National bureau of Statistics (NBS).
In the earlier bailout a total of twenty-three states had debts of N575.516 billion from 15 banks restructured to FGN bonds.
The restructuring was made using a re-opening of the FGN Bond issued on July 18, 2014 and maturing on July 18, 2034 and had a transaction yield of 14.83 percent.
A close source had hinted on this development last week when he told G&BJournal that the states Governors are looking for an intervention from the National Economic Council (NEC) for their proposed moratorium on interest payments and principal repayment.
Fiscal revenue available to State governments has been greatly squeezed amid falling Federal allocations. Fiscal revenue available for Nigeria’s three tiers of government or FAAC allocation fell by 34 percent to N387.8 billion in December 2015 from N521 billion in July.