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PDP governors tackle FG, APC colleagues over Obaseki’s currency printing exposure

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Godwin Obaseki

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have condemned the attacks by the Federal Government on their Edo State colleague, Godwin Obaseki, for revealing that N60 billion was printed and shared to states. They also chided their All Progressives Congress (APC) counterparts for taking a ‘partisan’ position on the matter.

Obaseki, while lamenting the difficulty occasioned by the economic squeeze in the land, had stated that things got so bad that the government had to print N60 billion for distribution among the states, a claim instantly dismissed by the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, but later confirmed by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele. 

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In a statement yesterday by Director-General of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Cyril Maduabum, the state chief executives said they were alarmed by “the partisan slant patriotic advice to the Federal Government by Governor Godwin Obaseki, on its monetary policies, has assumed.

“It is unhelpful for the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) to join the fray in the manner it did by its recent statement attacking the genuineness of Obaseki who merely warned the monetary authorities about the danger of uncontrolled use of ways and means – that is, the printing of naira – to support government’s expenditure.”

The group continued: “Governor Obaseki has a background in economics and finance. And is a very responsible governor who talks in a measured way.

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“His advice, which by the way, has been corroborated by none other than the Governor of the CBN himself and the international rating agency, FITCH, should be heeded instead of crucifying the Edo governor for sounding a note of caution.

“No doubt, the Federal Government has been supporting the states in the area of agriculture, budget, refund of Federal Government executed projects by states and a few other areas of intervention.

“We wonder if the CBN is trying to be vindictive and vengeful by recalling its loans to the states because of an informed advice by a governor.”

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“It is unfortunate that governance has plummeted to this level.”

They advised: “The Federal Government should plug financial leakages in the system and curb wasteful expenditure of billions of naira on projects that can be executed by the private sector to reduce pressure on the naira with its inflationary consequences.”

The forum added: “Inflation in Nigeria is currently at 18.2 per cent – the highest in recent years. We should all be concerned to find ways of stemming the tide.

“We are all involved in the urgent task of rescuing the Nigerian economy. Nobody should, indeed, play the ostrich.”

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