APC replies Governor Obaseki on state of economy

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has faulted claims by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State that Nigerian economy was in a critical situation due to a huge debt burden.

The Chair of the state APC caretaker committee, David Imuse, said this in a statement by Ofure Osheobo, the assistant secretary of the committee on Monday in Benin City.

Mr Obaseki recently berated the APC-led federal government of poor handling of the economy.

The governor, who was addressing the state transition committee stakeholders at a meeting in Abuja, claimed the federal government printed N60 billion to supplement the federal allocation to the three tiers of government for March.

He said by the end of 2021, Nigeria’s total borrowing would be between N15 and N16 trillion.

Mr Imuse described Mr Obaseki’s criticism of the federal government on handling the economy as “a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.”

“The true position is that under Obaseki’s watch, the economy of Edo is in dire straits with the governor bereft of ideas on how to get it out,” he said.

“The state is engulfed in a foreign debt of 300 million dollars and a domestic debt including loans from commercial banks, the capital market, and other doubtful sources, approaching N120 billion as at March, for non-existent projects.

“In the past seven months, Obaseki has plunged Edo into higher debts by taking more loans which has seen a 67 per cent increase in its debt profile.

“Edo under him has overtaken Rivers as the state with the highest foreign and domestic debt in the South South and it is on a steady course to displace Lagos as Nigeria’s most indebted state.”

Mr Imuse said while Kogi had successfully reduced its domestic debt from N132.5 billion to N73 billion, Edo had spent more money servicing debts than financing education, healthcare and infrastructure even without a state cabinet.

He described, as spurious, alarmist, untrue and wicked, a claim by Mr Obaseki that Nigeria was on its way to becoming another Argentina in terms of low currency value.

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He advised the governor to use his membership of the National Economic Council, Nigerian Governors Forum and Nigerian Economic Summit to offer useful suggestions on how to move the economy forward.

This, he said, was better than singling himself out for applause, because the management of Nigerian economy was not just the responsibility of one person, but that of the government, of which he was a part.

“Everybody today knows that since 2015 when APC came on the scene, Nigeria has been on the path of progress and things are definitely much better than how PDP left it,” he said.


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