The dispute between Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, continues, with the governor defending his point about the country’s growing debt profile.
Last week, the governor said that the Central Bank of Nigeria printed an extra N50 billion to N60 billion to compensate for state allocations, but the Finance Minister dismissed the assertion as “very sad and untrue.”
In a series of tweets on Thursday, Obaseki went on to discuss the country’s economic situation, saying that he believes it is his responsibility to provide useful advice for the country’s benefit.
He also said the Finance Minister is ‘playing the Ostrich’ and called on the Federal Government to end ‘monetary rascality.’
“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,” he said.
The governor’s response comes just hours after the Minister of Finance refuted his argument that the Central Bank of Nigeria printed an extra N50 billion to N60 billion to cover state allocations.
After the 41st virtual Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday at State House, the Finance Minister told journalists that Obaseki’s argument was “very sad and false.”
“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.
The Finance Minister insisted that the country’s debt profile is still manageable and that the country’s debt profile, which currently stands at 23 percent of GDP, is still manageable.