Governors Fume Over Obasaki’s Currency Printing Claim

Gov. Bagudu Bags Chairman APC Governors' Forum

Moses Ofodeme

The Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) has dismissed claims by Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo that the Federal Government printed between N50 billion – N60 billion in March.

The forum in a statement by its chairman, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi on Sunday, April 18, in Abuja, said claims by Obaseki did not reflect the true position of things.

Bagudu said at first, the impression the forum got was that it was an off-the-record remark made in a private meeting by Obaseki.

He, however, said the forum was shocked to see yet another response from Obaseki to the rebuttal by the Finance Minister, insisting that the March 2021 FAAC was augmented via the printing of currency.

“Given the significance of the statement from a sitting governor and the possible negative impact it has brought to the credibility of both the Federal and State Governments in managing government finances.

“The forum is obliged to put a statement out to set the records clear, and to the best of our knowledge, the total distributable statutory revenue for the month of March 2021 was N596.94 billion,” he said.

Bagudu explained that due to the shortfall in gross statutory revenues; by N43.34 billion compared to the previous month; an augmentation was made in the sum of N8.65 billion from the Forex Equalization Fund Account.

He added that this brought the total distributable revenue to N605.59 billion.

He further added that federation revenues distributed monthly primarily consisted of mineral revenues from the sales of oil and gas; as well as non-mineral revenues from customs and excise duties; company income tax; and value-added tax.

He, however, admitted that there were periods when the country experienced significant fiscal shocks in federation revenues; but said the shocks were offset by other savings.

These, the PGF chairman said were serviced from the federation account; including distributions from the domestic excess crude proceeds and the foreign excess crude savings account.

“These payments started since 2008 when the country first experienced fiscal shocks; from the fallouts of the global financial crisis of 2008 to 2009.

“As a trained economist who has been a governor since 2016, Obaseki is aware of all the support states have received from President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.

“This unfortunate and inaccurate assertion by Gov. Obaseki becomes even more worrisome; when juxtaposed with the official statement released after the meeting of PDP governors last week,” he said.

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