‘Emir of Kano does not have his facts right’ – Garba Shehu

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  • Presidential spokesman says emir has ‘got the facts wrong’

  • Says government has overdrawn its central consolidated account

Spokesman to president Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu has responded to remarks made by the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, that the CBN was illegally funding the Nigerian government.

Sanusi revealed that the CBN’s lending to the government since Buhari came to power spiked from N1.5 trillion to N4.5 trillion.In the Emir’s words;

The CBN-FGN relationship is no longer independent. In fact, one could argue their relationship has become unhealthy. CBN claims on the FGN now tops N4.7 trillion — equal to almost 50% of the FGN’s total domestic debt. This is a clear violation of the Central Bank Act of 2007 (Section 38.2) which caps advances to the FGN at 5% of last year’s revenues. Has CBN become the government’s lender of last or first resort?

In response to this, Shehu wrote;

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With every respect to the Emir, you know he is my ruler,because I come from Kano.

He doesn’t have his facts as far as those issues are concerned. The issue in CBN, that government has overdrawn its Central Consolidated Account is true, but the overdrawing is within limits.

The overdraw does not exceed 1.5 trillion. It is incorrect to say, as he did that the account was overdrawn by 4.5 trillion.

But even assuming that he was correct. This is a government that has money in excess the amount he mentioned in the Treasury Single Account, TSA. It is just like you, a bank customer operating two accounts, one in the red and the other, well funded to the point that it can at any time wipe the indebtedness on the other. Would any bank manager lose their sleep over this?

This, I am told is what the IMF found at the CBN and they said it is perfectly normal.

As for his opposition to the USD 30 billion loan, I’am aware that the Minister of Finance is responding to that.

As a private citizen, I want to read his statement again. I thought that the borrowing is for projects that include the railway development in Kano, his own city.

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