We Have Been Printing Money Since 2015, FG Should Stop Lying To Nigerians — Rotimi Amaechi
According to Peoples Gazette, Transport Minister Rotimi Ameachi was caught on tape admitting that President Muhammadu Buhari has always directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to continue printing money since 2015.
Mr Buhari campaigned on promises to revamp the Nigerian economy, but has been chastised for worsening the situation over the last six years of his presidency.
Mr Amaechi also revealed that they took an oath never to openly confess to Nigerians that the government was on a printing spree of the national currency in an interview with journalists prior to the 2019 general election, in which Mr Buhari was re-elected.
“And most of you didn’t know when we took over; in fact, most Nigerians don’t know because we swore an oath not to tell anyone we were printing money,” Mr Amaechi said.
“Are you aware of when a nation prints currency? When it has no money,” he explained. “All we did was print money to cover our debts.”
Mr. Amaechi’s remarks highlighted the cover-up that has accompanied Mr. Buhari’s widely criticized approach to the country’s economy, as millions of people remain impoverished. Nigeria has since risen to the top of the list of countries with the largest number of poor citizens. The nation still has the world’s worst energy supply and the second-highest unemployment rate.
Fitch, a renowned credit rating agency, said earlier this year that Mr Buhari’s central bank has been printing money at an unprecedented pace, warning that such tactics could result in more economic woes for the country’s 200 million citizens.
Governor Godwin Obaseki expressed concern about crude oil revenue last month, revealing that the federal government printed an extra N60 billion in March for states to share.
“Where will we find this money that we go to Abuja to share every month in a year or so? We received FAAC for March last month,” he said, adding that “the federal government printed an additional $50 to $60 billion to top-up for us to share.”
“My fear is that, like Argentina, we will wake up one day with the naira at 1,000, 2,000, and we will be going because we don’t have capital coming in,” he said, lamenting that the current administration borrows without the means or the intention of repaying.
In response, Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, accused the governor of spreading lies, saying, “The problem that the Edo state governor posed for me is very, very sad because it is not a reality.”
Similarly, Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), dismissed Mr Obaseki’s point as “unfortunate and totally inappropriate.”
Mr Emefiele, speaking to journalists about the problem, said: “If you understand the principle of printing money. It is about lending money, not about printing money.
“It’s our work to print,” says the narrator. It’s about lending money, so there’s no point in bringing up the issue of money printing as though we’re going into a factory and printing naira to distribute on the streets.”
Prior to Mr Buhari’s inauguration on May 29, 2015, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo claimed that their administration will inherit $60 billion in foreign and domestic debt from the previous administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. Osinbajo also characterized the state of the Nigerian economy as unfortunate, noting that debt servicing would consume 21% of the country’s 2015 budget.
“We are worried that our economy is experiencing one of the worst periods in its history. The total debt, both domestic and foreign, is $60 billion. The debt servicing bill for 2015 is N953.6 billion, or around 21% of the budget, according to the vice president.
Mr Amaechi’s spokesman did not respond to several requests for comment on the minister’s recording, which was part of a scandalous sequence that emerged in the lead-up to the 2019 elections.
Despite Mr Buhari and his appointees’ repeated claims that they faced an empty treasury, the facts revealed that this assertion was false. As of May 2015, the administration had at least $2.07 billion in excess crude accounts.
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