NEC disowns Obaseki on N60b currency printing crisis

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The National Economic Council (NEC), yesterday, said there was no printing of N60 billion or any other amount to shore up allocation for the month of March as recently claimed by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

It made the disclosure while receiving presentations from the Minister of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).

The Edo chief executive had said the Federal Government, last month, printed N60 billion to support allocation to states

But, the governors refuted the claim during the NEC meeting held at the State House, Abuja and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The gathering, attended by most governors, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the CBN Governor, also had the Finance, Transport, Information, Aviation, Water Resources ministers, as well as the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning.

This is even as the council expressed satisfaction with the clarifications made by the NGF, represented by its Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Finance Minister, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed and CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on the alleged money printing by the Federal Government.

Both the minister and the CBN Governor told the gathering that the allegation of currency printing to augment allocation was “outrightly false.”

The NGF also supported the conclusion and NEC affirmed same as the highest constitutional body tasked with economic affairs in the country, according to the spokesman of the Vice President, Laolu Akande.

On the resolution of security concerns in parts of the country, the council restated the unity of Nigeria, saying it would adopt the report of the town hall meeting on National Unity and Security held recently in Kaduna.

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While welcoming the outcome of the deliberation, NEC urged the states to consult widely and report back for a national consensus on state police and other topical issues.

MEANWHILE, the Federal Government has denied receiving $5.6 billion COVID-19 donation to cushion effect of the virus in the country.

Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Clement Ikanade Agba, who defended government yesterday in Abuja, said he was reacting to social media publications by civil society organisations (CSOs) accusing the current administration of receiving and mismanaging the said sum.

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