Obaseki: Nigeria in Financial Woes, Printed N60bn to Augment March Federal Allocation

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Godwin Obaseki

Kunle Aderinokun

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has raised the alarm over Nigeria’s financial trouble, particularly given the continued shrinking oil revenue, which made the federal government print about N60 billion to augment allocation shared to states in March.

Besides, Obaseki, who spoke at a programme in Benin, revealed that, by December this year, the country’s total borrowing would be in excess of ₦15 to ₦16 trillion.

“In another year or so, where will we find this money that we go to Abuja to share every month? Last month, we got FAAC for March. The federal government printed an additional ₦50 to ₦60 billion to top-up for us to share,” he said.

The governor believed, very soon, there be no crude oil revenue, accruing to the national treasury for spending, with the dwindling fortunes of oil.

Emphasising that despite the prices of crude at the international market, the current fortunes of crude is only a mirage and the Nigerian economy could no longer rely on oil revenue. According to him, major oil producers like Shell and Chevron, which hitherto made huge financial commitment to oil production, are no longer investing as much, especially with Chevron heavily investing in alternative fuel and Shell pulling out of Nigeria.

He, therefore asked, where will the federal government find the oil revenue to share monthly as federal allocation among the three tiers of government?

“We say remove subsidy, they say no. This April, next week again, we will go to Abuja and share. By the end of this year, the total borrowing is going to be in excess of ₦15 to ₦16 trillion.

“My worry is that we will wake up one day like Argentina, the naira will be ₦1,000, ₦2,000 and will be moving because we don’t have money coming in. You are just borrowing, borrowing and borrowing without any means or idea of how to pay back.”

Obaseki pointed that the change in the world economy, which is now affecting Nigeria, would be the major factor that will affect the country’s economy going forward.