Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele has tacitly confirmed that the country is in dire financial straits, but frowned at the “inappropriate colouration” given to the concept of printing money by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Obaseki had said the country was in a financial mess following his claim that the Feceral Government printed N60 billion to argument allocation to the tiers of government by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, for the month of March.
Emefiele words while speaking with journalists, “Nigeria is unfortunately in a very bad situation.
“If you understand the concept of printing of money, it is about lending money”.
“That is our job. To print is about lending money. So, there is no need of putting all the controversy about printing of money as if we go into the factory, print the naira and start distributing on the streets.
“It’s very inappropriate for people to give colouration to printing of money as if it’s some foreign words coming from the sky”
“It is important for me to put it this way that in 2015/16, the kind of situation we found ourselves in, we did provide a budget support facility to all the states of this country.
“That loan is still unpaid up till now. We are going to insist on them paying back those monies since they’re accusing us of giving them loans…
“Most countries in the world today are confronted not only by the challenges coming from the COVID-19 pandemic causing economic crisis and the rest of them.
“What I keep saying is that it will be irresponsible for the CBN or any other federal reserve to stand idle and refuse to support its government at this time and what we are doing here is being done in other climes.
“At the last MPC meeting, I gave data on what is being done in other climes to shore up their economy and take them out of recession.
“I’m not going to pretend about it. We are facing a problem about productivity output which is GDP. Luckily, we managed to exit from recession, now we are looking at how to get our head above the water.”
Recall that following a response by Finance Minister, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, that his comments on the economy and printing of N60 billion were sad and not factual, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki maintained his position and urged her not to play to the gallery.
Obaseki in a series of tweets on Thursday said he believes it is statutory to offer useful advice for the benefit of the nation and called on the Federal Government to end ‘monetary rascality.’
He said, “While we do not want to join issues with the Federal Ministry of Finance, we believe it is our duty to offer useful advice for the benefit of our country.
“The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, should rally Nigerians to stem the obvious fiscal slide facing our country.
“Rather than play the Ostrich, we urge the government to take urgent steps to end the current monetary rascality, so as to prevent the prevailing economic challenge from degenerating further.
“We believe it is imperative to approach the Nigerian project with all sense of responsibility and commitment and not play to the gallery because ultimately, time shall be the judge of us all.”
The governor’s reply comes few hours after the Minister of Finance debunked his claim that the Central Bank of Nigeria printed an additional N50billion to N60billion to make up for state allocations.
The Finance Minister after the 41st virtual Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House on Wednesday told journalists that Obaseki’s claim was very sad and untrue.
“The issue that was raised by the Edo State Governor, for me, is very sad because it is not a fact.
“What we distribute at FAAC is revenue that is generated and in fact, distribution revenue 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,” she said.
The Finance Minister insisted that the nation’s debt profile is still at sustainable limits and maintained that the nation’s debt profile which currently stands at 23 percent of the total GDP is at sustainable levels.