State governments will start paying back the loans provided to them between 2015 and 2016 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The apex bank granted the loans to states as budget support facilities within the period, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said during a visit to Nasarawa State.
He stated this during a session with reporters on Thursday in reaction to claims by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, that the Federal Government had printed an additional N50 billion to N60 billion to make up for state allocations.
“It is important for me to put it this way that in 2015/2016 … we did provide budget support facility for all the states of the country.
“That loan remains unpaid till now and we are going to insist on the states paying back those monies going forward, since they are accusing us of giving them loans – effectively that’s what they are saying,” the CBN governor said.
He added, “If you understand the concept of printing of money, it is about lending money. There is no need for all the controversy around the printing of money as if we are going into the factory, printing naira, and then distributing (it) on the streets.
“It is very inappropriate for people to just give some coloration to the word ‘printing of money’ as if it is a foreign word coming from the sky.”
According to Emefiele, most countries of the world today are facing an economic crisis, apart from the health challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, he believes it will be irresponsible of the CBN or any central bank to stand idle and refuse to support its government.
The CBN governor decried that Nigeria was in a bad situation, especially with the problem of productivity output – the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as well as inflation and increased price of commodities.
He, however, stated that the nation’s financial regulator would continue to put in place adequate measures to mitigate the effect of the present situation on the people.
“For us to begin to see some people playing some games, trying to come up with overheating its (the nation’s) polity talking about the printing of money, I think it is unfortunate and totally inappropriate.
“I would like to advise that this should stop. We should all work for the growth of our country and not play politics. I am not a politician and I keep saying so; I am a banker, and I should be left to do my work,” said Emefiele.