The brawl continues between the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and the Federal Government, as the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has countered his claim. The Finance minister told State House correspondents:
“The issue that was raised by the Edo State Governor for me is very, very sad. Because it is not a fact.
“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.”
We await updates on the matter.
All these follow the controversial statements made by Gov Godwin Obaseki, last week Thursday. The Governor had 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 every day.
“So we have run a very strange economy and strange presidential system where the local, state and federal governments, at the end of the month, go and earn salaries. We are the only country in the world that does that.
“Everywhere else, the government relies 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 an 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 borrowing is going to be between N15 and 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.”