Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday intervened in the ongoing exchange between Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed over the issue of recent printing of N60billion for sharing across the federation in March.
Obaseki had claimed that the Federal Government printed money to augment the March revenue shared by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), which was dismissed by the Minister, who described it as “sad” and “untrue.”
But in a response on his Twitter handle, Emefiele wrote:
“That is our job. To print is about lending money. So, there is no need of putting all the controversy about printing of money as if we go into the factory, print the naira and start distributing on the streets.”
Obaseki had stated that “rather than play the Ostrich”, the government should “take urgent steps to end the current monetary rascality, so as to prevent the prevailing economic challenge from degenerating further. It is imperative to approach the Nigerian project with all sense of responsibility and commitment and not play to the gallery because ultimately, time shall be the judge of us all.”
Weighing in on the matter, however, Emefiele explained that the apex bank’s interventions are meant to address the grim economic outlook because “Nigeria is unfortunately in a very bad situation,” He added: “If you understand the concept of printing of money, it is about lending money.
“It’s very inappropriate for people to give colouration to printing of money as if it’s some foreign words coming from the sky. It’s important for me to put it this way that in 2015/16, the kind of situation we found ourselves in, 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 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 to stand idle and refuse to support its government at this time and what we are doing here is being done in other climes.
“At the last MPC meeting, I gave data on what is being done in other climes to shore up their economy and take them out of recession. I’m not going to pretend about it. We are facing a problem about productivity output which is GDP. Luckily, we managed to exit from recession, now we are looking at how to get our head above the water.”