The Nigerian government has denied an allegation that it printed about N60 billion to augment the money for distribution to states by the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC.
Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki had stated at a programme last week in Benin that the federal government printed money to make up the sum to be distributed to states in the month of March 2021.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who reacted to this while briefing the media after Wednesday’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said that government did not print any money.
“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 Customs Service and the NNPC that we distribute at FAAC. So, it is not true that we printed money to distribute at FAAC.”
Mrs. Ahmed also said that “Nigeria’s debt is within sustainable limits,” but called for improvement of the country’s revenue to enhance its capacity to service its debt obligations.
“What we need to do is to improve our revenue to enhance our 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% to GDP is at a very sustainable level. You can look at the reports that you see from multilateral agencies. Those facts are stated.”
Cabinet approves over N19.13 billion for Customs’ boats, vehicles.
Speaking on the memo presented to the Federal Executive Council meeting by her ministry on behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Ahmed said that the council approved contracts worth over N19.13 billion naira for the procurement of boats and vehicles for the Nigeria Customs Service.
According to her, the Council approved contract for the design, construction and supply of two NC 36 M Monohull patrol boats for the NCS in the sum of N5. 06billion inclusive of 7.5% VAT.
She said that the delivery period would be 12months.
Ahmed said that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning also got approval on behalf of the Nigerian Custom Service for the design, construction and supply of seven fast assault boats and seven regular patrol boats in the sum of N501.17million, inclusive of 7.5% 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,” She stated.
“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 N14.55billion inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a delivery period of four weeks.
“There are several contractors including Wada Motors, Elizade Motors, Westwood Motors, Globe Motors, providing different category of vehicles that are meant for field operations of the NCS.”
Ahmed said Wednesday’s cabinet meeting also approved contract for the construction of the Federal Inland Revenue Service building at Ilupeju, Lagos for the medium and small tax payers’ office.
She said that the contract sum was N539.28 million, while the timeline for its completion would be 52weeks.