The Nigerian Government has denied claims by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki that N60 billion ($157.4 million) was printed in March to support allocation to states.
The country’s minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed told state house correspondents on Wednesday that the issue raised by Mr Obaseki very sad and untrue.
The Edo state governor was quoted to have told stakeholders at the state’s transition committee engagement that Nigeria is in huge financial trouble.
“When we got FAAC for March, the federal government printed additional N50-N60 billion to top-up for us to share,” he had said.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Ahmed noted that the West African country’s debt is still within sustainable limit as efforts are on to improve revenue generation capacity.
The minister 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 a revenue that is generated and in fact distribution revenue is a 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.
“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.”
By Abel Ejikeme