…Says Obaseki’s submission, Sad, Unfortunate
The Federal Government on Wednesday said there was no truth in the submission by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki that N60 billion was printed to fund allocation to states in March.
Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister, Zainab Ahmed, speaking after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, described Obaseki’s statement as untrue, sad and unfortunate.
It would be recalled that Governor Obaseki, speaking, at the state transition committee stakeholders’ engagement in Benin last week, painted a gloomy picture of the economic situation in the country.
The governor said the Federal Government had to print between N50 to N60 billion to augment its revenue to be shared by the three tiers of government.
The governor also expressed concern over the huge debt burden of almost N16 trillion hanging on the nation.
Ahmed in debunking the claim that money was printed said what was shared among the states was internally generated revenue of government which was even made public through the website of the Finance Ministry.
Ahmed said: “The issue that was raised by the Edo State Governor for me is very, very sad because it is not a fact. What we distribute at FAAC is revenue that is generated and in fact this is public information.
“We publish revenue generated by FIRS, the Customs and the NNPC and we distribute at FAAC. So, it is not true to say we printed money to distribute at FAAC, it is not true”.
On the debt portfolio, the minister said there was nothing to worry about as such debts fall within sustainable limit.
“On the issue of the borrowing, the Nigerian debt is still within sustainable limit. What we need to do as I have said several times is to improve our revenue to enhance our capacity to service not only our debt but to service the needs of running government on day to day basis.
“So our debt currently at about 23 percent to GDP is at a very sustainable level if you look at all the reports that you see from multilateral institutions,” she said.