From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum, yesterday, accused their All Progressives Congress (APC) counterparts under the Progressive Governors forum (PGF) of being partisan in their response to Governor Godwin Obaseki’s claim.
The Edo governor had claimed that the Federal Government printed N60 billion to support states’ allocations in March.
The forum, in a statement by its Director General, Cyril Maduabum, said it was alarmed by the partisan slant the admonition to the Federal Government on its monetary policies has assumed.
On Friday, the APC governors claimed Obaseki statement did not reflect the true state of things, describing his statement as unfortunate and inaccurate.
“As a trained economist who has been a governor since 2016, Mr. Obaseki is aware of all the support states have received from President Buhari in coping with the shocks that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic recession.”
But reacting, the PDP governors faulted the position of PGF, and argued that Obaseki should not be crucified for saying the truth.
The statement titled: “Governor Obaseki merely offered a patriotic advice” read: “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.
“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 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 %, the highest in recent years. We should all be concerned to find ways of stemming the tide.
“We are all involved in the urgent task of rescuing the economy of Nigeria and nobody should indeed play the OSTRICH.”