By Titus Akhigbe, Benin
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State on Friday urged policy makers to take seriously Governor Godwin Obaseki’s call on the Federal Government to end the country’s current monetary rascality as well as prevent the prevailing economic challenge from degenerating further.
Obaseki had last week expressed reservations over the nation’s economic slide and alleged that the federal government printed additional N60 billion to top allocations to states in March, in addition to borrowing.
The Edo State governor had last weekend, while speaking at the Edo Transition Committee Stakeholders’ Engagement, claimed that the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), in order to be able to meet the revenue sharing to states for the month of March, had to print about N60 billion or more cash.
He had, during the same event, alleged that the federal government had been borrowing without a sustainable plan to sort out the nation’s debt load.
But, the Federal Government describing the claim as false, saying the money shared to states was sourced from the internally generated revenue.
Government also faulted the governor’s claim that the nation’s borrowing was needless, saying Nigeria’s debt profile was still within sustainable limits.
Speaking to State House Correspondents on Wednesday, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said, “The issue that has been 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 it.
“So it’s revenue generated by the FIRS, the Customs and the NNPC, that we distribute at FAAC. So it is not true to say we printed money to distribute at FAAC, it is not true,” she said.
However, the Edo state PDP chairman, Tony Aziegbemin, while addressing journalists in Benin City, said the governor’s statement was a wake-up call to all patriotic Nigerians and policy makers before the situation gets out of hand.
According to him, the country’s economy is in dire need of surgical operation as expressed by the state governor, adding that the PDP believes and shares the same position with Obaseki.
He stated that Nigeria’s economy in 2015 was better than the present time, adding that the country would be in trouble, if courageous political leaders like the Edo state governor failed to speak truth to power.
“We are in trouble in this country. That is why we are sounding the alarm on the need to rejig the economy and depend less on oil,” Aziegbemin added.