APC govs flay Obaseki, over N60bn printing claim

Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday refuted a recent allegation by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State that the federal government printed N60 billion to augment the March revenue allocation to states.

The governors, in a statement in the name of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), said Obaseki’s statement “does not reflect the true position of things.”

The PGF admitted that although there was a shortfall in gross statutory revenues by N43.34 billion compared to the previous month “an augmentation was made in the sum of N8.65 billion from the Forex Equalization Fund Account, which brought the total distributable revenue to N605.59 billion.”

Giving a background to the practice of revenue sharing in the country, the forum said: “Federation revenues distributed monthly primarily consist of mineral revenues from the sale of oil and gas, as well as non-mineral revenues from customs and excise duties, company income tax and value added tax.

“Yes, 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.

“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.

“Not only have we received budget support, bail out support to meet salary obligations and infrastructure refunds to all states, this was implemented in the overall public interest without discrimination on the basis of party affiliation.

“Besides, there’s nothing exceptional in this current review of economic orthodoxy.

Almost every Central Bank in the world is taking steps to support their government in coping with the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the national economy. This has become the norm rather than the exception as all countries grapple with the deleterious effect of economic recession.”



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