Obaseki’s claim of N60 billion printed to shore up states’ allocation false — NEC

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, presides over the virtual National Economic Council (NEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja, on Monday, April 22, 2021. Photo: State House/Tolani Alli

The National Economic Council (NEC) has affirmed that there was no printing of N60 billion or any other amount whatsoever to shore up allocation for the month of March as wrongly insinuated recently in the press.

The NEC said it took the position having received presentations from the Minister of Finance, the Central Bank Governor, and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).

Governor Godwin Obaseki had recently made the claim that between N50 billion to N60 billion had been printed and shared with states to augment the March allocation.

However, the governors, having critically reviewed the matter took the position on Monday, at the meeting of NEC chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

The meeting was attended by many of the state governors, FCT Minister and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor. The meeting also had in attendance the Finance, Transport, Information, Aviation and Water Resources Ministers, and the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning also attended.

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 stated to 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 same as the highest constitutional body tasked with economic affairs in the country, according to the Spokesman of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande.

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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 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.