New Telegraph

February 29, 2024

No money was printed to augment March allocations –NEC

…endorses recommendation for state police

The National Economic Council (NEC) has affirmed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did not print any money to augment the shortfall in the federal allocation to states in March. Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, had recently alleged that the CBN printed about N60 billion to augment the shortfall in federal allocation in March, warning that the nation’s economy may be imperiled.

But NEC, chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, put a lie to Obaseki’s claims yesterday after receiving presentations from the Minister of Finance, the Central Bank Governor and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF). According to a release by Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, the Council maintained that no N60 billion, or any other amount whatsoever, was printed to shore up allocation for the month of March. He added that the NGF led by the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, also affirmed that no money was printed. “The Council expressed satisfaction with clarifications made by the NGF, represented by its Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Finance Minister, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed and the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele on the alleged printing of N60 billion by the Federal Government.

“Both the Minister and the CBN Governor told the Council that the allegation of the printing of money to augment allocation was outrightly false. “The NGF also supported the conclusion and NEC affirmed the same as the highest constitutional body tasked with economic affairs in the country,” Akande wrote.

On the resolution of security concerns in parts of the country, the Council unanimously affirmed the unity of Nigeria and said it would adopt the report of the National Town Hall meeting on National Unity and Security held recently in Kaduna. The Town Hall Meeting had recommended the establishment of state police to curb insecurity across the country. “The Council, while welcoming the outcome of the town hall meeting, urged all states to hold wider consultations across the country and report back to NEC the outcome of the meetings. After this, a national consensus would be reached on the recommendations which included the adoption of state police, among other matters,” he said. The meeting was attended by many of the state governors, FCT Minister and the Central Bank Governor.

Also at the meeting were ministers of Finance, Transport, Information, Aviation, Water Resources Ministers and the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning. Also, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, told the council that the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA), as at 22nd April 2021 stood at $72, 413,008.60. She put the Stabilisation Account as at same time at N23,299,008,799.06 and Natural Resources Development Account at N77, 742,012,342.87. On budget support facility, the minister observed that the deductions for repayment by States were meant to resume in May but the governors requested for an extension considering the economic challenges in the States. Osinbajo, therefore, directed that a meeting be held soon after where the issue would be properly considered and a decision reached.

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