Obaseki’s Claim On Printing Of N60bn Is Untrue, Says Finance Minister

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The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Zainab Ahmed has debunked claims by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki that the Central Bank of Nigeria printed an additional N50billion to N60billion to make up for state allocations.

The Minister said this on Wednesday at a briefing after the 41st virtual Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo at the State House.

She described the governor’s claim as very sad and untrue.

According to her, monies distributed at Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) are revenues generated from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), etc adding that revenue distribution is information that can be publicly accessed.

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“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 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,” she said.

On the question of Nigeria’s debt profile pegged at N15-16 trillion, the Finance Minister insists that the nation’s debt profile is still at sustainable limits.

Ahmed advised that what the nation needs to critically do instead is improve revenue to enhance capacity to service Nigeria’s debt obligations and fulfill the quotidian needs of running the government.

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She maintained that the nation’s debt profile which currently stands at 23percent of the total GDP is at sustainable levels.

Obaseki last week raised an alarm over the country’s rising debt profile, saying the situation is more critical now because of the huge amount borrowed to service the ailing economy.

He also claimed that the Federal Government printed an additional ₦50 to ₦60 billion to top-up for FAAC.

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