N60 billion mint: Governor Obaseki’s revelation a wakeup call – PDP chair

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has charged governments at all levels to prioritise agriculture and adequately harness the untapped potentials of the sector to fast-track economic growth and development.

Dr Anthony Aziegbemi, an Economist and Edo chapter Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has hailed the courage of Gov. Godwin Obaseki to mention the printing of N60 billion by the federal government to augment revenue allocation.

Obaseki had in an expose alleged that the country was in troubled times that it had to print the currency in order to beef up the federation account for sharing to the three tiers of government in March.

The federal government had since denied the allegation, which went viral on the social media, describing it as baseless.

Aziegbemi, who holds a PhD degree in Economics from Russia, on Friday at a media briefing in Benin, however, described the revelation by Obaseki as a wakeup call for Nigerians, including the governor.

He explained that as at present, according to available statistics, inflation rate in the country stood at 18.17 per cent, unemployment rate 43 per cent and debt N32 trillion.

He, therefore, said that the Edo governor had spoken the truth desperately needed at the moment.

According to Aziegbemi, the governor has sounded a wakeup call for all Nigerians including himself.

“He has spoken the truth desperately needed at this time. “He has shaken the table for the right thing to be done.”

He noted that this was because the country had always depended on revenue from oil.

He observed that with the reality on ground the nation could not continue to put its hope on oil as the only source of revenue.

He noted that the nation’s dependence on things it had no control of was affecting the revenue and economy of the country.

The PDP Chairman also noted that deficit financing and lack of consistency in the prices of crude oil were responsible for the constant borrowing by the country as well as the printing of currency.

Aziegbemi stressed that N32 trillion debt by the country was frightening, with nobody even knowing the repayment plan, adding that Obaseki’s revelation was for all policy makers to think.

According to him, the economy of Nigeria is in dire need of surgical operation.

“N32 trillion debt by Nigeria is frightening; so our governor’s revelation is for all policy makers to think, because, as it is now nobody knows the repayment plan for these borrowed monies.”

Aziegbemi, however, noted that in spite of the “gloom” hovering over the country, Edo would be fine because of the governor’s policies and reforms in the state.

He stressed that parts of the policies and reform programmes by the governor included investment in Agriculture, Technology, Human capital development, employment and infrastructure.

“So everybody in Edo has to be part of the “Resetting” Edo as well as the people-oriented policies and development being put in place by the governor,” he said.

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