Dr. Anthony Aziegbemi, an economist and the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Edo chapter, has praised Gov. Godwin Obaseki’s courage in mentioning the federal government’s printing of N60 billion to supplement revenue allocation.
In March, Obaseki claimed in an expose that the country was in such dire straits that it had to print currency in order to bolster the federation account for distribution to the three tiers of government.
The federal government has since denied the allegation, calling it “baseless” after it went viral on social media.
At a press conference in Benin on Friday, Aziegbemi, who holds a PhD in Economics from Russia, described Obaseki’s revelation as a wake-up call for Nigerians, including the governor.
According to available statistics, the country’s inflation rate is currently 18.17 percent, unemployment is 43 percent, and the country’s debt is N32 trillion.
As a result, he claimed that the Edo governor had spoken the truth that was sorely needed at the time.
The governor, according to Aziegbemi, has issued a wake-up call to all Nigerians, including himself.
“He has spoken the truth desperately needed at this time.
“He has shaken the table for the right thing to be done.”
He explained that this was because the country had always relied on oil revenue.
He found that, given the reality on the ground, the country could no longer depend solely on oil as a source of revenue.
He pointed out that the country’s reliance on items it couldn’t manage was affecting its revenue and economy.
The PDP Chairman also pointed out that the country’s constant borrowing and currency printing were caused by deficit financing and a lack of stability in crude oil prices.
Aziegbemi emphasized that the country’s N32 trillion debt was terrifying, with no one even knowing the repayment strategy, and that Obaseki’s disclosure could make all policymakers consider.
According to him, Nigeria’s economy is in desperate need of surgery.
“N32 trillion debt by Nigeria is frightening; so our governor’s revelation is for all policy makers to think, because, as it is now nobody knows the repayment plan for these borrowed monies.”
Despite the “gloom” that has descended upon the region, Aziegbemi believes Edo will be fine thanks to the governor’s policies and reforms.
He emphasized that investment in agriculture, technology, human capital growth, housing, and infrastructure were all part of the governor’s policies and reform programs.
“So everybody in Edo has to be part of the “Resetting” Edo as well as the people-oriented policies and development being put in place by the governor,” he said.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN