People Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has tasked the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) to heed the advice of Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state (Southern Nigeria), on the monetary policies of Nigeria rather than attacking him.
The PDP Governors while reacting to the APC under the Progressive Governors forum (PGF) in their response to Obaseki’s claim that the federal government printed N60 billion to support states’ allocations in March, accused PGF of being “partisan”.
Obaseki’s claims have been generating varied reactions, including:
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, who denied Obaseki’s comment, said “the issue that was raised by the Edo State Governor for me is very, very sad. Because it is not a fact…”
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele while reacting to the claims said the money was meant as loan from the apex bank, he said: “If you understand the concept of printing of money, it is about lending money.”
“As a trained economist who has been a governor since 2016, Mr. Obaseki is aware of all the support states have received from President Buhari in coping with the shocks that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic recession.”
The PDP governors’ forum under the umbrella of the opposition party, in a statement on Sunday, criticised the position of PGF, adding that Obaseki should not be nailed for “saying the truth.”
The statement which was signed by the forum’s Director-General, Cyril Maduabum, read: .“The PDP Governors Forum is alarmed at the partisan slant a patriotic advice to the Nigeria government by His Excellency, Governor Obaseki, on its monetary policies has assumed.
“It is unhelpful for the Progressive Governors Forum to join the fray in the manner it did by its recent statement attacking the bona fides of governor Obaseki who merely warned the monetary authorities about the danger of uncontrolled use of ways and means, that is, the printing of Naira, to support government’s 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.”
The PDP governors therefore advised the federal government to quit relying on monetary policies that will further collapse the economy.
They added, “Nigeria 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, thereby relying less on ways and means by the CBN , which brings pressure on the Naira with its inflationary consequences.”