CBN Governor replies Gov. Obaseki –

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has responded to the allegation by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, that the Federal Government had to print N60 billion to make up for the shortfall in the amount shared in March from the Federation Account by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee.

Emefiele’s response came at the end of a facility tour of Dangote Sugar plantation in Awe, Nasarawa State on Thursday.

The CBN Governor government’s printing of Naira simply meant loans advanced to States to pay salaries and survive and not the literal interpretation of printing money from the factory and sharing to the public, wondering why any controversy should be built around it.

He said the apex bank will ensure the full and timely repayment of all facilities extended to states.

Emefiele, who was quoted by Daily Sun, said a N614 billion budget support facility was extended to the states between 2016 and 2018 to offset backlog of unpaid salaries and other emoluments due to recession occasioned by crude oil slump.

Again, in July 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari approved a robust intervention package of $2.1 billion to assist handicapped states pay salaries.

Emefiele thus described Obaseki’s position on printing about N60 billion to shore up the March subvention by the FAAC as totally inappropriate.

He said: “If you understand the concept of printing of money, it’s about lending money.

“That is our job.

“To print is about lending money.

“So, there is no need of putting up controversy about printing money as if we go into the factory, print the naira and start distributing on the streets.

“It’s very inappropriate for people to give colouration to printing money as if it’s some foreign words coming from the sky.

“So, I think it’s important for me to put it this way that in 2016/18, the kind of situation we found ourselves in, which is even worse than 2015/16, we did provide a budget support facility to all the states of this country.

“That loan is still unpaid up till now.

“We are going to insist on them paying back those monies since they’re accusing us of giving them loans.

“Most countries in the world today are confronted not only by the challenges coming from the COVID-19 pandemic, but other issues causing economic crisis and the rest of them.

“What I keep saying is that it will be irresponsible for the CBN or any other federal reserve bank to stand idle and refuse to support its government at this time.

“And what we are doing here is being done in any clime.”

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