BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – The Federal Government on Wednesday cast aspersion on Governor Godwin Obaseki for alleging that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration printed and shared N60 billion in March 2021 to States, saying that the Edo governor is far from the truth.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed described the issue raised by Governor Obaseki as very sad, stressing that the statement by the governor lacked facts and therefore represents a barefaced lie to Nigerians.
Answering questions from State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday, Mrs Ahmed specifically said what was distributed at Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FACC) was earnings from revenue that was generated for the period.
Mrs Ahmed, who said monthly revenue for distribution is public information, also assured that Nigeria’s debt is still within sustainable limit just as efforts are on course to improve nation’s revenue generation capacity
In the Finance minister’s words; “The issue that was raised by the Edo State Governor, for me is very, very sad. Because it is not a fact. 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. 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% to GDP is at a very sustainable level. If you look at all the reports that you see from multilateral institutions.”
Governor Obaseki had told the Edo State transition committee stakeholders engagement last week that Nigeria was in a huge financial trouble.
According to him; “When we got FAAC for March, the Federal Government printed additional N50-N60 billion to top-up for us to share.
“This April, we will go to Abuja and share. By the end of this year, our total borrowings is going to be within N15-N16 trillion. Imagine a family that is just borrowing without any means to pay back and nobody is looking at that. Everybody is looking at 2023, everybody is blaming Mr President as if he is a magician,” Obaseki said.