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    Progressive governors forum reacts to Obaseki’s criticism


    Apr 17, 2021

    The forum of Progressive governors elected under the APC say the cash distributed to the three tiers of government in March was augmented by the sum of N8.65 billion from the Forex Equalization Fund Account, which brought the total distributable revenue to N605.59 billion.

    According to the forum federation revenues distributed monthly primarily consist of mineral revenues from the sale of oil and gas, as well as non-mineral revenues from customs and excise duties, company income tax, and value added tax.

    In a statement by Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, chairman of the forum, “Yes, there are periods when the country experiences significant fiscal shocks in federation revenues, however, these shocks are offset by other savings serviced from the federation account, including distributions from the domestic excess crude proceeds and the foreign excess crude savings account. These payments started since 2008 when the country first experienced fiscal shocks from the fallouts of the global financial crisis of 2008 – 2009.

    “All the support states have received from President Buhari in coping with the shocks that have resulted from the CoviD 19 pandemic and resulting economic recession.

    “Not only have we received budget support, bail out support to meet salary obligations and infrastructure refunds to all states, this was implemented in the overall public interest without discrimination on the basis of party affiliation” the forum said in acknowledgement that the governments have been supported by ways and means credit from the central bank.

    However the forum said “there’s nothing exceptional in this current review of economic orthodoxy. Almost every Central Bank in the world is taking steps to support their government in coping with the effect of Covid 19 pandemic on the national economy. This has become the norm rather than the exception as all countries grapple with the deleterious effect of economic recession.”

    The statement said “these are challenging times for the country. The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the recent macroeconomic challenges, has had a significant impact on government finances, however, both the federal and State governments are working assiduously to confront the challenge through greater collaboration to increase independent government revenues, rationalize non-essential spending and improve the efficiency of public spending.

    “Indeed, we are beginning to see the positive impact of these initiatives given the country’s exit from recession in the first quarter of 2021.”

    Governor Bagudu recalled that “as at June 2015, 27 states could not pay salaries but the Federal Government provided support to states to enable them to pay salaries and pensions.

    In addition to the above, the Central Bank of Nigeria designed and implemented various interventions which helped in stimulating economic activity in all the states, and contributed to the country’s quick emergence from recession in 2016 and 2021. Such interventions include the Anchor Borrowers Programme, Accelarated Agriculture Development Scheme, Small and medium scale enterprises support scheme as well as expansion of pre-existing Programme such as Commercial Agriculture Credit.”

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