Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, has backed his Edo State counterpart, Godwin Obaseki, over his claim that the Federal Government printed an additional N60 billion to provide as allocation to states.
Governor Wike stated this while briefing journalists in Abuja on Sunday, according to a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, and made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Governor Obaseki had at the Edo Transition Committee Stakeholders Engagement two weeks ago stated that the Federal Government printed N50-N60 billion as part of federal allocation to the states for March.
The disclosure has led to a heated debate about the state of the country’s economy, with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leading the ideological sparring.
But Governor Wike insisted that Governor Obaseki’s claim could not be wrong, noting that the Edo Governor was formerly of the APC and, therefore, understands the workings of the ruling party.
“Obaseki was in APC, so he understands them. So, Obaseki couldn’t have come from the blues to say they printed N60 billion. He knows them,” the statement quoted Governor Wike as saying.
The Rivers State Governor challenged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to unequivocally declare if money was printed or not.
He also called on Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the CBN, to address the issue raised by Governor Obaseki rather than issuing a veiled threat to the state governors to pay back bailout loan given to them by the federal government.
“Instead of answering the question, he (Emefiele) said governors have to pay back the bailout loan. The bailout is a loan, if you want to take it, go and take it. But answer the question whether money was printed or not printed,” Governor Wike said.