By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have risen in defence of Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, following the attack on him by governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, over his claims that the federal government resorted to printing of currency to meet its obligation in the month of March, this year.
Obaseki had while lamenting difficulty ocassioned by the economic squeeze in the land, stated that things got so bad that government had to print the sum of N60 billion to share among the federating states; a claim dismissed as false by Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister, Zainab Ahmed.
In a statement signed by Cyril Maduabum, Director General of the PDP Governors Forum and made available to newsmen, Sunday, the governors chided their colleagues in the ruling party, for what they called “the partisan slant” that has since greeted Obaseki’s advice to federal government on how best to manage its monetary policies.
“The PDP Governors Forum is alarmed at the partisan slant a patriotic advise to the federal government by His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki , on its monetary policies has assumed.
“It is unhelpful for the Progressive Governors Forum to join the fray in the manner it did by its recent statement attacking the bona fides of Governor Obaseki who merely warned the monetary authorities about the danger of uncontrolled use of Ways and Means, that is, the printing of Naira, to support government’s expenditure.
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“Governor Obaseki has a background in economics and finance and is a very responsible governor who talks in a measured way.
”His advise, which by the way has been corroborated by none other than the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, himself, and the international ratings agency FITCH , should be heeded rather than being crucified for sounding a note of caution.
“No doubt, the federal government has been supporting the states in the area of agriculture, budget, refund of federal government executed projects by states and a few other areas of intervention.
“Is CBN trying to be vindictive and vengeful by recalling its loans to the states because of an informed advise by a governor? It is unfortunate that governance has plummeted to this level.
“The Federal government should plug financial leakages in the system and curb wasteful expenditure of billions of naira on projects that can be executed by the private sector and save a lot of money in the process, thereby relying less on ways and means by the CBN , which brings pressure on the Naira with its inflationary consequences. Inflation in Nigeria is currently at 18.2 per cent , the highest in recent years. We should all be concerned to find ways of steming the tide.
“We are all involved in the urgent task of rescuing the economy of Nigeria and nobody should indeed play the ostrich,” the statement read.