Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has challenged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to disprove the disclosure by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State that it (CBN) unilaterally printed N60billion for the Federal government.
Obaseki had on April 7 raised the alarm over the country’s rising debt profile, saying the situation is more critical now because of the huge amount borrowed to service the ailing economy.
He expressed worry that Nigeria is in huge financial trouble, adding that the Federal government printed N60 billion to augment the federal allocation for March.
The claim has been generating varied reactions from Nigerians, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, among others.
But Wike, according to a statement by his spokesman Kelvin Ebiri, challenged the CBN to unequivocally declare if money was printed or not.
“Obaseki was in APC, so he understands them. So, Obaseki couldn’t have come from the blues to say they printed ₦60 billion. He knows them,” Wike declared.
“Instead of answering the question, he (CBN governor, Emefiele) said governors have to pay back the bailout loan. The bailout is a loan; if you want to take it, go and take it. But answer the question whether money was printed or not printed.”
The finance minister had described the claim by Obaseki as false, saying Nigeria’s debt is still within sustainable limits and efforts are being made to improve the revenue generating capacity of the government.
So far, Obaseki has stood his ground, urging the Federal government to end the current monetary rascality and stop “playing the ostrich”, to prevent the economy from further degenerating.