By Osaigbovomwan Iguobaro
The controversy over the alleged N60 billion by the Nigerian Government to augment March allocation to States, has assumed a new dimension.
The Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki in a statement on Thursday, advised the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed to stop playing the Ostrich.
Obaseki had told a gathering of politicians that: “When we got FAAC (Federal Account Allocation Committee) for March, the government printed additional N50-N60 billion to top-up for us to share.
He alleged that: “This April, we will go to Abuja and share. At the end of this year, our total borrowings is going to be within N15-N16 trillion”.
But the Minister on Wednesday punctured the allegation by Obaseki, describing it as untrue, sad and unfortunate.
She insists Nigeria’s debt is still within sustainable limit and efforts are on to improve revenue generation capacity.
“The issue that was raised by the Edo State Governor is very, very sad. Because it is not 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.
But, the Governor in the statement titled: “Our advice is that we stop playing the Ostrich”, advised the Government to rally Nigerians to stem the obvious fiscal slide facing our Country.
“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 stressed.