—Says Nigeria’s debt is at a sustainable limit
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, ABUJA
THE Federal Government on Wednesday said there was no truth in the allegation made by the Governor of Edo State that the government printed an additional N60 billion that was shared at the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC.
The Federal Government also denied that the nation’s foreign debt was enormous, saying that it was within the sustainable limit.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, while fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, described the statement credited to the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki as said.
Recall that Governor Obaseki at the State Transition Committee Stakeholders Engagement last week was quoted as saying that the country was in huge financial trouble.
Obaseki was also quoted to have said that the Federal Government printed about N50-N60 billion to share in March Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC.
“When we got FAAC for March, the federal government printed additional N50-N60 billion to top-up for us to share. This April, we will go to Abuja and share. By the end of this year, our total borrowings are going to be within N15-N16 trillion, ” he was quoted to have said.
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But the Minister of Finance explained that what was distributed at the monthly FAAC meetings were generated revenue from government institutions available to the public at the ministry’s website.
According to her, “The issue that was raised by the Edo State Governor for me is very, very sad because it is not a fact.
“What we distribute at FAAC is revenue that is generated and in fact distribution revenue is public information. We publish revenue generated by FIRS, the customs and the NNPC and we distribute at FAAC. So, it is not true to say we printed money to distribute at FAAC, it is not true.
“On the issue of the borrowing, the Nigerian debt is still within sustainable limit. What we need to do as I have said several times is to improve our revenue to enhance our capacity to service not only our debt but to service the needs of running the government on day to day basis. “So our debt currently at about 23% to GDP is at a very sustainable level. If you look at all the reports that you see from multilateral institutions.”
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