Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has stated that Nigeria is in huge financial trouble.
Speaking at a programme in the state on Thursday, the governor said the federal allocation for March was insufficient, forcing the Federal Government to print between N50 billion and N60 billion for states to share.
“When we got FAAC for March, the federal government printed additional N50-N60 billion to top-up for us to share.
“This April, we will go to Abuja and share. By the end of this year, our total borrowings are going to be within N15-N16 trillion. Imagine a family that is just borrowing without any means to pay back and nobody is looking at that, everybody is looking at 2023, everybody is blaming Mr. President as if he is a magician,” he said.
Lamenting the overdependence on crude oil, Obaseki said the rising debt profile is worrisome.
He said oil companies are shutting down in the country, challenging the government to come up with other means of revenue generation.
“Nigeria has changed. The economy of Nigeria is not the same again whether we like it or not. Since the civil war, we have been managing, saying money is not our problem as long as we are pumping crude oil every day.
“So we have run a very strange economy and a strange presidential system where the local, state, and federal government, at the end of the month, go and earn salary. We are the only country in the world that does that.
“Everywhere else, the government relies on the people to produce taxes and that is what they use to run the local government, state, and the federation.
“But with the way we run Nigeria, the country can go to sleep. At the end of the month, we just go to Abuja, collect money and we come back to spend. We are in trouble, huge financial trouble.
“The current price of crude oil is only a mirage. The major oil companies who are the ones producing are no longer investing much in oil. Shell is pulling out of Nigeria and Chevron is now one of the world’s largest investors in alternative fuel, so in another year or so, where will we find this money that we go to share in Abuja?” he asked.