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CBN Orders States To Repay N1.5trn Loans Owed FG

Oluwasina Phillip

The Central Bank of Nigeria has said that states must repay all loan facility of about N1.5trn received as support from the apex bank, a punishment for accusing it of printing N60bn to support March federal allocation.

The apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, said this on Thursday in Awe, Nasarawa state during an inspection tour of the proposed $500m Dangote sugar processing facility.

The controversial claim was made by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, over the weekend.

But the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on Wednesday refuted the claim.

On Thursday, Obaseki released a statement insisting on his position while he advised the government to stop playing the ostrich.

“Rather than play the Ostrich, we urge the government to take urgent steps to end the current monetary rascality, so as to prevent the prevailing economic challenge from degenerating further,” Obaseki said.

But Emefiele in response to the accusation said states must rapay all the loans given it by the bank as support over the period of the economic crisis.

He said, “States will  pay those monies going forward since they are accusing us of giving them loans. Effective, that is what they are saying.

“Most countries in the world today are confronted not only by health challenges from the pandemic or Covid-19 and post economic crisis and the rest of them and I keep saying this, it will be irresponsible for the Central Bank of Nigeria or any Central Bank to stand idle and then refuse to support its government at this time.

“What is being done, is being done in any clime. At the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting I did say and I gave data about what is being done even in developed economies.

He added, “Nigeria is unfortunately in a very bad situation I am not going to pretend about it in the sense that we are facing problem with productivity output which is GDP.”

Emefiele also said the country is also confronted with the issue of inflation and price rise.

“And so for us to begin to see that some people are playing some games trying to come up with over heating the polity trying to talk about printing of money, I think is very unfortunate and totally inappropriate,” the CBN boss said.

He advised that economic issues should not be treated with political sentiments, adding “am not a politician am a banker, I should be left to do my work.”

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