N60 billion controversy: Stop playing the ostrich, Obaseki tells FG

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has advised the Federal Government to quickly end the current “financial rascality” so as to prevent the economy from further degeneration instead of playing the Ostrich about the parlous state of the nation’s economy.

Obaseki’s advice, coming in the wake of the denial by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab, Ahmed that any money was printed to top-up revenue allocation for March, is an indication that the last might not have been heard about the accusation levied by the governor that the Federal Government printed N60 billion to top-up the March allocation.

Obaseki, the originator of the claim, on Thursday advised the Federal Government to stop playing the Ostrich over the parlous state of the nation’s economy.

It would be recalled that the governor had early this week disclosed that at the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, meeting for March, the Federal Government printed additional N50 to N60 billion to top-up for the states, the Local Government Ares and the Federal Government to share.

But the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, denied that any amount of money was printed and insisted that was shared in the month of March was a generated revenue.

Reacting to the minister’s denial, Obaseki, in a statement he personally endorsed on Thursday in Benin City, said that his only advice to the Federal Government was to face the reality of the economic situation and take urgent steps to stop the drift and end the “financial rascality”.

“Our advice is that we stop playing the Ostrich. While we do not want to join issues with the Federal Ministry of Finance, we believe it is our duty to offer useful advice for the benefit of our country,” Obaseki reiterated.

Parts of the statement read:

“The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed should rally Nigerians to stem the obvious fiscal slide facing our country. 

“Rather than play the Ostrich, we urge the government to take urgent steps to end the current monetary rascality, so as to prevent the prevailing economic challenge from degenerating further.

“We believe 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.”

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