From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday disowned the comment by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki that the Federal Government printed about N50-N60 billion to share in March.
He was disowned after the council received presentations from the Minister of Finance, the Central Bank Governor, and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), the National Economic Council (NEC), where they 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.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, “the Governors, having critically reviewed the matter took the position today at the meeting of NEC chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. Today’s meeting attended by many of the State Governors, FCT Minister and the Central Bank Governor also had in attendance the Finance, Transport, Information, Aviation and Water Resources Ministers. 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.”
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 townhall meeting on National Unity and Security held recently in Kaduna.
The Council, while welcoming the outcome of the townhall 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.