Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has painted a grim picture of Nigeria’s economy, revealing that the Federal Government Printed N60 billion in the month of March to share among the three tiers of government.
Lamenting that Nigeria was the only country in the world where the federal, state and local governments earn salaries at the end of the month, the governor noted that the economy was no longer what it used to be, with a rising debt profile and dependence on crude oil that was no longer sustainable.
“Nigeria has changed. The economy of Nigeria is not the same again whether we like it or not. Since the civil war, we have been managing, saying money is not our problem as long as we are pumping crude oil every day. So, we have run a very strange economy and strange presidential system where the local, state and federal government, at the end of the month, go and earn salaries. We are the only country in the world that does that.
“Everywhere else, the government relies on the people to produce taxes and that is what they use to run the local government, state and the federation. But with the way we run Nigeria, the country can go to sleep. At the end of the month, we just go to Abuja, collect money and we come back to spend. We are in trouble, huge financial trouble”, he said.
Speaking further during the state transition committee stakeholders engagement in Benin, Obaseki said: “When we got FAAC for March, the Federal Government printed an additional N50-N60bn to top-up for us to share. This April, we will go to Abuja and share. By the end of this year, our total borrowing is going to be within N15trn to N16trn.’’