CBN Gov Tells Obaseki What Naira Printing Means

CBN Gov Tells Obaseki What Naira Printing Means

….Vows to recover outstanding debts owed by states

From Uche Usim, Awe, Nasarawa State

In what may be described as a response to a mischievous comment, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday, clarified that government’s printing of naira as being touted by Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, simply meant loans advanced to States to pay salaries and survive; and not the literary interpretation of printing money from the factory and sharing to the public, wondering why any controversy should be built around it.

Speaking at the end of a facility tour of Dangote Sugar plantation in Awe, Nasarawa State, Emefiele said the apex bank will ensure the full and timely repayment of all facilities extended to states.

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 March subvention by the Federal Account Allocation Committee (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 2016/16, 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. At the last MPC meeting, I gave data on what is being done in other climes to shore up their economy and take them out of recession.

“Nigeria is unfortunately in a very bad situation, I’m not going to pretend about it. We are facing a problem about productivity output which is GDP. Luckily, we managed from recession, now we looking at how to get our head above water”, he explained.

Obaseki, last week, dropped a bombshell that Nigeria was in dire straits as the federal government was constrained to print up N60 billion naira in March to shore up revenue shortfall.

He described the development as scary as the money was for consumption and not production.

He also noted that days of fat crude oil receipts were gone, urging the government to explore other revenue streams before the country collapses completely.


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