GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has advised the Federal Government to quickly end the current “monetary rascality” so as to prevent the economy from further degeneration, instead of playing the Ostrich about the parlous state of the nation’s economy.
In a statement he personally endorsed on Thursday in Benin City, he said his only advice to the Federal Government is to face the reality of the economic situation and take urgent steps to stop the drift. “Our advice is that we stop playing the Ostrich. 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,” Obaseki reiterated.
Parts of the statement read: “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 be- cause ultimately, time shall be the judge of us all.”
Obaseki’s stance on Thursday came on the heels of the denial by the finance minister that no money was printed to top up revenue allocation for March.
The governor had earlier disclosed that at the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for March, the Federal Government printed an additional N50 to N60 billion to top-up for the states, local government areas and the Federal Government to share.
But the minister denied this claim, stating that the Federal Government did not print N60 billion in March.
The minister noted that the assertion by the governor on printing N60 billion to augment the shortfall in the federally allocated March revenue is not a fact. She said there is no need to worry over the country’s rising debt profile because it is still within sustainable limits.
Ahmed explained that whatever is distributed at the monthly FAAC meetings are generated revenue from government institutions and can be accessed by the public on the ministry’s website. Reacting on the issue, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday, described the move by the Buhari administration as primitive.
In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said it was baffled that the Buhari government embarked on printing of naira notes, not minding the huge inflation as well as devastation such would trigger on the nation’s economy.
Rather than devise means to create wealth and revamp the nation’s economy, the PDP decried that the Buhari presidency is mortgaging the nation’s future through all sorts of foreign loans. Especially, the PDP lamented that the current administration had nothing to show for its various borrowings and now resorting to print- ing naira to ruin the nation’s economy.