The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Godwin Emefiele says the claim by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki that the federal government printed N60billion to support March allocation for states is simply lending by the apex bank.
The Minister of Finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday also dismissed the claim by Obaseki as false.
However, Obaseki insisted and stood by his position asking the federal government to stay playing ostrich and end the current monetary rascality.
Speaking with Journalists on Thursday, Emefiele described the claims as inappropriate
According to him, the federal government had disbursed loans to states to manage the economic difficulties occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you understand the concept of printing of money, it is about lending money. There is no need for all the controversy around money printing as if we are going into the factory to print naira and then distribute on the streets,” he said.
“It is very inappropriate for people to just give some coloration to the word ‘printing of money’ as if it is a foreign word coming from the sky.
“In 2015/2016, we were in a similar [fiscal] situation, but it is far worse today. We provided budget support facility to all the states of the country and that loan remains unpaid till now. We are going to insist on the states paying the loan back since they are effectively accusing us of giving them loans.
“Most countries of the world today are confronted by not just the health crisis from the COVID pandemic but also economic crisis. I keep saying this: it would be irresponsible of the central bank of Nigeria or any central bank to stand idle and refuse to support its government at this time. Whatever we do in Nigeria is being done in any clime.
“Nigeria is unfortunately in a very bad situation and we cannot pretend about it in the sense that we are facing problems about productivity output which is gross domestic product (GDP). We are working very hard to see how we can get our heads above water. We are also concerned with issues of inflation.
“For us to see some people playing some games, overheating his polity talking about printing of money, I think it is unfortunate and totally inappropriate. I would like to advise that this should stop. We should all work for the growth of our country and not play politics.”
“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.