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Finance Minister explains reasons for inflation

by Maryam Olaniyi
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As Nigerians grapple with the high cost of living, the federal government said the challenge was caused by some irregularities in the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Olawale Edun appeared before members of the Senate Committee on Finance to address the issue of inflation in the country.

During the interactive session, the minister told the lawmakers that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the leadership of Godwin Emefiele printed a total of N22.7 trillion naira notes in the last eight years under the Ways and Means loan granted to the administration of former president Buhari.

In May 2023, the Senate approved former President Buhari’s request to obtain a N22.7 trillion Ways and Means loan from the CBN to finance its budget shortfalls.

During the interactive session with the lawmakers, Mr Edun said printing money for eight years without productivity is the major factor that caused inflation and other economy challenges in the country.

“We talked about inflation, and you have helped to solve that. Where has it come from?

“It came from 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. That’s the reality. So that money supply must be brought back .

“You distinguished senators have helped. You have given us the mandate to raise N 7 trillion, which we will do by sucking money from the market, using it to pay back the central bank and give the government a balanced books. We are going to audit even the N22.7 trillion printed aimlessly” Mr Edun said .

The minister however assured members of the committee that the federal government would continue to find a lasting solution to the worsening economy.

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