Ebun Francis| Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, budget, and national Planning Zainab Ahmed on Wednesday denied claims by Governor Godwin Obaseki that the Central Bank of Nigeria printed an additional N50billion to N60billion to make up for state allocations.
Ahmed who made the disclosure at the end of Wednesday’s 41st virtual Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo at Abuja, described Obaseki’s claim as very sad and untrue, noting that revenue distribution is information that can be publicly accessed.
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).
“The issue that was raised by the Edo State Governor, for me, is very sad because it is not a fact, she said.
“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.”
On the question of Nigeria’s debt profile pegged at N15-16 trillion, the Finance Minister insists that the nation’s debt profile is still at sustainable limits.
Ahmed who equally maintained that the nation’s debt profile which currently stands at 23percent of the total GDP is at sustainable levels however advised that Nigeria needs to critically improve her revenue to enhance capacity to service her debt and fulfill the quotidian needs of running the government.
Governor Obaseki had 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.
According to him, the Federal Government printed an additional ₦50 to ₦60 billion to top-up for FAAC.