Printed N50bn : Obaseki Wobbles, Prevaricates - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Thursday, April 15, 2021

Printed N50bn : Obaseki Wobbles, Prevaricates


The Daily Crucible

Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo on Thursday appeared to have engaged in prevarication following seeming pressure on him to substantiate his claims that Nigeria was in huge financial trouble and had to print between N50 - N60bn to augment shortfall in March for FAAC.

Speaking recently at the Edo state transition committee stakeholders engagement, the governor said the economy had taken a turn different from what it used to be.

Governor Obaseki also said the rising debt profile was worrisome just as dependence on crude oil was also no longer sustainable.

He equally expressed fear that amid dwindling revenue and low productivity, Nigeria  had continued to borrow despite unclear means of payments, while expecting that the government must live up to its social contract with citizens.

Obaseki said: “Nigeria has changed. The economy of Nigeria is not the same again whether we like it or not. Since the civil war, we have been managing, saying money is not our problem as long as we are pumping crude oil everyday,” he said.
“So we have run a very strange economy and strange presidential system where the local, state and federal government, at the end of the month, go and earn salary. We are the only country in the world that does that.

“Everywhere else, government rely on the people to produce taxes and that is what they use to run the local government, state and the federation.

“But with the way we run Nigeria, the country can go to sleep. At the end of the month, we just go to Abuja, collect money and we come back to spend. We are in trouble, huge financial trouble.

“The current price of crude oil is only a mirage. The major oil companies who are the ones producing are no longer investing much in oil. Shell is pulling out of Nigeria and Chevron is now one of the world’s largest investors in alternative fuel, so in another year or so, where will we find this money that we go to share in Abuja?

“When we got FAAC for March, the federal government printed additional N50-N60 billion to top-up for us to share.

“This April, we will go to Abuja and share. By the end of this year, our total borrowings is going to be within N15-N16 trillion. Imagine a family that is just borrowing without any means to pay back and nobody is looking at that, everybody is looking at 2023, everybody is blaming Mr. President as if he is a magician.”

However, the Federal Government through the Finance Ministry, denied printing money lately and urged Nigerians to demand prove from Obaseki on the claim, but rather that confront the FG if he had evidence to back it, he wobbled and prevaricated in his response.

In his tweet, Nigeria in Financial Crisis :
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki @GovernorObaseki tweets, the governor said he will not join issues with the FG.

1. While we do not want to join  issues with the @FinMinNigeria, we believe it is our duty to offer useful advice for the benefit of our country.

2. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, @ZShamsuna should rally Nigerians to stem the obvious fiscal slide facing our country.

3. 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.

4. 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.

Godwin Obaseki
Governor, Edo State
April 15, 2021

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