The Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Governors Forum has tackled the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors Forum, over allegations made by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, that the Federal Government printed N60 billion to supplement the March 2020 federal allocation.
Obaseki had alleged that the Federal Government did not have adequate resources to fund the March allocation, and therefore resorted to the printing the sum of N60 billion to meet up its responsibilities.
The APC governors had on Saturday joined the fray describing Obaseki’s claims as untrue and unfounded .
According to the governors, Obaseki’s allegations have negatively impacted the credibility of the federal government given the fact that the federal government had disbursed several bail-out funds to the state governments.
This was contained in a statement released by the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State.
According to the statement, the allegations of Obaseki who is a ‘trained economist’ s ‘unfortunate’, ‘inaccurate’ and ‘worrisome’.
The APC Governors, however, admitted that the country is currently experiencing significant fiscal shocks in the revenue.
The statement also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative effect on the economy, but insisted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is coping with the problems:
“Yes, there are periods when the country experiences significant fiscal shocks in federation revenues. However, these shocks are offset by other savings serviced from the federation account, including distributions from the domestic excess crude proceeds and the foreign excess crude savings account.”
Responding, the Director General of the PDP Governors Forum, Cyril Maduabum, on Sunday, said the APC-led federal government should focus on plugging financial leakages in the system, rather than making statements.
According to Maduabum, the federal government should listen to the advice of Obaseki, who is well-grounded in economics and finance.
The PDP governors also charged the APC-led federal government to curb the wasteful expenditure of billions of naira on projects that can be executed by the private sector and save a lot of money in the process.
The statement reads, “The PDP Governors Forum is alarmed at the partisan slant patriotic advice to the Federal Government by His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, on its monetary policies has assumed.
“It is unhelpful for the Progressive Governors Forum to join the fray in the manner it did by its recent statement attacking the bona fides of Governor 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.”
According to the governors, the federal government should be focused on rescuing the inflation rate of the country which has grown by 18% (year on year) in March.
The New Diplomat had reported that the Inflation index of Nigeria shot up by 18.17% (year on year) in March 2021, according to report of the National Bureau Statistics (NBS).
According to the report, the food inflation index rose by 22.95% in March 2021.
The PDP Governors also criticized the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele for appearing “vindictive and vengeful” with his call to state governments to pay back loans so far given them by the Federal Government, after the revelation of Obaseki.
“Is the CBN trying to be vindictive and vengeful by recalling its loans to the states because of informed advice by a governor? It is unfortunate that governance has plummeted to this level,’ the party lamented.