FG denies printing N60b for March allocation

Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmad

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, says revenue distributed at Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) is generated by Federal Government agencies.

The minister fielded questions from State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

She faulted recent allegations by Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) printed N60 billion in March to support federal allocation to states.

The governor was also reported to have said that the economy was in dire condition due to the huge debt burden.

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“The issue that has been raised by the Edo State Governor for me is very, very sad because it is not a fact.

“What we distribute at FAAC is revenue that is generated and the FAAC revenue distribution is public information and we publish it.

“ So, it is the revenue generated by the FIRS, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the NNPC that we distribute at FAAC. So, it is not true that we printed money to distribute at FAAC.’’

On borrowing, Ahmed said that Nigerian debt was within sustainable limits.

According to her, what is needed is to improve the nation’s revenue to enhance its capacity to service not only our debt obligation but also to service the needs of running government on a day to day basis.

“So, our debt currently at 23 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is at a very sustainable level.

“ You can look at the reports that you see from multilateral agencies; those facts are stated.’’

The minister said that her ministry presented a memo to FEC on behalf of the FIRS.

She said that the memo sought the council’s approval for award of a contract for the construction of the FIRS building at Ilupeju Medium and Small Tax Payers Office in the sum of N539 million inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT.

Ahmed said the completion period of the project was 52 weeks.

“The Ministry also presented on behalf of NCS a memo that was seeking for the council’s approval for the design, construction and supply of two NC 36 M Monohull patrol boats in the sum of N5.06 billion inclusive of five per cent VAT with a delivery period of 12 months.

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“We also presented a memo again on behalf of the NCS for the approval of Council for the design, construction and supply of seven fast assault boats and seven regular patrol boats at the sum of N501 million inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT with a delivery period of eight weeks.

“ The purpose of purchase of these two types of patrol boats is to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of operations of the NCS in its bid to control smuggling and also ensure enhance efficiency of Customs duty operations in the marine unit of the NCS.

“We also presented again on behalf of the NCS a request for council’s approval and council approved the procurement of 427 operational vehicles for the NCS operations in favour of various contractors in the combined sum of N14.55 billion inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT with a delivery period of four weeks,’’ she said.

She said there were several contractors, including Wada Motors, Elizade Motors, Westwood Motors and Globe Motors, providing different category of vehicles that are meant for field operations of the NCS. (NAN)

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