The federal government of Nigeria has shed more light on what transpired between the central and state governors as regards the allocation sharing for March 2021.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed disclosed that when it was discovered that there was a shortfall of N50 billion from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), the state governors wanted the federal government to borrow the shortfall from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
She however disclosed that the federal government rejected the idea of the state governors and insisted that they go manage what each of them got.
Ahmed also disclosed that the government usually takes money from reserve accounts but in March, there was no sufficient fund accrued in those accounts.
She made the revelations on Monday during an appearance on ‘Good Morning Nigeria show’, a Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) programme while reacting further to claims by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State that the government printed N60bn t augment the March FAAC distribution to states.
In her words, “It is a difficult time, I can explain to you how difficult it is not just for the federal government but also for the states, we see increasing reduction in our FAAC revenue,” she said.
“In the month of March, we had a shortfall of FAAC that is almost about N50 billion and we did not have enough accrued in any of those accounts, the states to be honest wanted us to borrow from the Central Bank, but we resisted, we just told everybody to go back to live within what they had.
“So it was very surprising for us when we heard a sitting governor saying that CBN has printed money for FAAC, that was very unfortunate because it is not true.”
It will be recalled as previously reported by TrackNews Online that Obaseki had accused the federal government of printing N60 billion as part of the allocation for March.
Speaking at the Edo state transition committee stakeholders engagement, the governor said Nigeria is in huge financial trouble.
According to Obaseki, the economy is no longer what it used to be due to the rising debt profile is worrisome as dependence on crude oil is no longer sustainable.
But the federal government through the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, and the CBN has denied claims by the governor, but Obaseki insisted and urged the government to tell Nigerians the truth.
Over the weekend, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike also declared that his Edo State counterpart, Godwin Obaseki knows what he’s saying about the alleged printing of N60 billion by the federal government to augment the March allocation to states.
Wike while declaring his position on the matter, called on the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to tell Nigerians the truth about what happened.
He accused the CBN of failing to address the allegation made by Obaseki, but rather beating around the bush to confuse Nigerians.