The Federal Government has debunkfed claims that it printed N60 billion to support federal allocations to states in March, describing the comment made by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki as untrue and saddening.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed explained that despite Obaseki’s worry that Nigeria is in ‘huge financial trouble’, the country’s debt profile is still within sustainable limits.
Recall that Edo State Governor was quoted as saying at the Edo transition committee stakeholders engagement last Saturday that, “When we got Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) for March, the federal government printed additional N50 billion- 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 trillion-N16 trillion.”
But the Minister of Finance in a statement by Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi
Special Adviser, Media & Communications, maintains that what is distributed at the monthly FAA meetings were generated revenue from government institutions available to the public at the ministry’s website.
Ahmed said: “The issue that was raised by the Edo State Governor for me is very, very sad because it is not a fact.
“What we distribute at FAAC is a revenue that is generated and in fact, distribution of revenue is a public information. We publish revenue generated by Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and we distribute at FAAC.
“So, it is not true to say we printed money to distribute at FAAC; it is not true. On the issue of borrowing, the Nigerian debt is still within a sustainable limit.
What we need to do, as I have said several times, is to improve our revenue to enhance our capacity to service not only our debt, but to also service the needs of running government on day-to-day basis. So our debt currently at about 23 percent to GDP is at a very sustainable level if you look at all the reports that you see from multilateral institutions,” Ahmed concluded.