The federal government has finally reacted to allegations by the governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki that Nigeria is in huge financial trouble following the rising debt burden.
Obaseki, at the State Transition Committee Stakeholders Engagement last week was also quoted to have said that the Federal Government printed about N50-N60 billion to share in March Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC.
“By the end of this year, our total borrowings are going to be within N15-N16 trillion,” he was quoted to have said.
But addressing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa on Wednesday, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said there was no truth in the allegations.
According to her, the nation’s foreign debt is still within the sustainable limit.
“On the issue of borrowing, the Nigerian debt is still within a 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 a 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.”
Ahmed also said there was no truth in the allegation made by the governor that the government printed an additional N60 billion that was shared at the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC.
She said 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.