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N22tr CBN printed under Buhari went to privileged few, caused current inflation, Edun reveals



The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, has said the N22.7tn printed by the Central Bank of Nigeria through Ways and Means overdraft for the Federal Government from 2015 to 2023, under former President Muhammadu Buhari, threw the country into the current inflation.

He also disclosed that the fund went into the hands of a privileged few, without corresponding productivity.

Edun, made this known on Wednesday during an interaction with the Senate Committee on Finance, he noted that during the period, the printing of naira in trillions was carried out without any corresponding productive activities.

According to him, the consequence of the eight years of printing money without productivity is the high inflation confronting the country now.

This development is a fallout of the decision of the Senate, two weeks ago to probe the N30tn Ways and Means overdraft obtained and spent by the Buhari administration.

It further stated that the alleged reckless spending of the overdraft collected from the CBN under Godwin Emefiele largely accounted for the food and security crises facing the country.

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When asked about what was responsible for the current inflation, Edun said; “It came from the eight years of just printing money not matched by productivity. It’s not like when you earn dollars and you free the naira alongside it, although there’s even a better way than that. But that’s still not as bad.

“It’s not as if the money is matched by productivity increase in output. It is not. And what happened was that for eight years, the weak were left to their own devices. It is the privileged few that took everything.”

He added, “You distinguished senators have helped. You have given us the mandate to raise N7tn, which we will do by sucking money from the market, using it to pay back the central bank and giving the government a balanced book. We are going to audit even the N22.7tn printed aimlessly.”

He, however, assured the committee members that various damage-mitigating economic policies being rolled out by the present government, would in no distant time, bring about great recoveries in terms of lower Inflation rate and improved GDP growth rate.

By: Babajide Okeowo

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