Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki has advised the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed to wake up and be realistic about Nigeria’s financial woes, instead of “playing the ostrich”.
Obaseki said this in a series of tweets in reaction to the denial by Zainab that the governor’s claim that the federal government printed N60bn to augment on FG’s printing of N60bn was “untrue”.
Obaseki said, “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.
“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 because ultimately, time shall be the judge of us all.”
Obaseki was last week quoted as raising the alarm over Nigeria’s financial position which he said made the CBN print about N60billion to augment allocation shared by states in March.
“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 are going to be within N15-N16 trillion,” Obaseki had lamented over the weekend.
But while answering questions from State House correspondents on Wednesday, the minister said Obaseki’s claim was not factual.
Ahmed said, “The issue that was 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 a piece of 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.”