The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has replied Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, concerning his claim that the apex bank printed an additional N50billion to N60billion to make up for state allocations.
Emefiele while addressing journalists in Tunga, Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State said printing money is a key mandate of the central bank, and the bank must always act to support the government at times of financial difficulties.
He added that it is “unfortunate and totally inappropriate” for some people to give colouration to this.
“If you understand the concept of printing money. The concept of printing of money is about lending money. That is our job – print money. So there is no need to put controversy about the printing of money as if we are going into the factory, printing naira and distributing on the streets.
“In 2015/2016, we were in a similar [fiscal] situation, but it is far worse today. We provided a budget support facility to all the states of the country and that loan remains unpaid till now. We are going to insist on the states paying the loan back since they are effectively accusing us of giving them loans.
“Most countries of the world today are confronted by not just the health crisis from the COVID pandemic but also economic crisis. I keep saying this: it would be irresponsible of the central bank of Nigeria or any central bank to stand idle and refuse to support its government at this time. Whatever we do in Nigeria is being done in any clime.”
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.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Zainab Ahmed debunked this in her reaction, describing 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.