Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors have given their backing to Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki in the controversies generated by his claim on the naira.
They took on their All Progressives Congress (APC) counterparts who faulted Obaseki for his comment.
The PDP governors said: “There are periods when the country experiences significant fiscal shocks in federation revenues. However, these shocks are offset by other savings serviced from the federation account, including distributions from the domestic excess crude proceeds and the foreign excess crude savings account.
“These payments started since 2008 when the country first experienced fiscal shocks from the fallouts of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.” The statement by the Director-General of the PDP Governor’s Forum, Cyril Maduabum, urged the APC-led Federal Government to plug financial leakages in the system and flayed Emefiele for sounding “vindictive and vengeful” with his insistence that states must pay back loans so far given to them by the Federal Government.
The statement said: “Inflation in Nigeria is currently at 18.2 per cent, the highest in recent years. “We should all be concerned about how to find ways of stemming the tide
“The PDP Governors Forum is alarmed at the partisan slant a patriotic advice to the Federal Government by His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, on its monetary policies, has assumed.
“It is unhelpful for the Progressives Governors Forum to join the fray in the manner it did by its recent statement attacking Governor Obaseki, who merely warned the monetary authorities about the danger of uncontrolled use of Ways and Means, especially , the printing of Naira to support government expenditure.
“Governor Obaseki has a background in economics and finance and is a very responsible governor who talks in a measured way
“His advice, which by the way has been corroborated by none other than the Governor of the CBN himself, and the international ratings agency FITCH, should be heeded rather than being crucified for sounding a note of caution.
“No doubt the Federal Government has been supporting the states in the area of agriculture, budget, refund of Federal Government executed projects by state and a few other areas of intervention.”
The PDP governors chided Emefiele for sounding “vindictive and vengeful” with his call on state governments to pay back loans given to them by the Federal Government, in reaction to the revelation by Obaseki.
Their words: “Is the CBN trying to be vindictive and vengeful by recalling its loans to the states because of informed advice by a governor? It is unfortunate that governance has plummeted to this level.
“The Federal Government should plug financial leakages in the system and curb wasteful expenditure of billions of Naira on projects that can be executed by the private sector and save a lot of money in the process.
“We are all involved in the urgent task of rescuing the economy of Nigeria and nobody should indeed play the ostrich.”
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike accused the CBN of shying away from Obaseki’s allegation by raking up the issue of state debts as a diversion from the subject matter.
He said Obaseki knows the antics of the APC administration and therefore, could not have made the statement without facts.
He said, “it is very unfortunate, Obaseki was in APC, so he understands them. So Obaseki couldn’t have come from the blues to say they printed N60 billion, he knows them.
“If you hear what the governor of the CBN said, instead of answering the question, he said governors should pay back the bailout loan. That is not the issue, it was a loan. So, if you want to go and take it, go and take it, but answer the question whether money was printed or not, that is the issue,” he said during the dedication of Senator Rochas Okorocha’s grandson in Abuja yesterday.