The Presidency, on Saturday, reacted to the revelation by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Mohammed Sanusi II, that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was illegally funding the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that what administration had obtained from the apex bank was within acceptable limits.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Saturday night, Sanusi did not have facts on the matter.
But the statement agreed that while the government had overdrawn its Central Consolidated Account, it had not taken as much as N4.5 trillion as claimed by the former CBN governor.
The presidential aide also questioned Sanusi’s opposition to Buhari’s plan to borrow $29.9 billion, saying that Kano which is the emir’s state will benefit from it.
The statement said: “With every respect to the emir, 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 N1.5 trillion. It is incorrect to say, as he did, that the account was overdrawn by N4.5 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 $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 and electricity development in the country.”
Sanusi had made his allegations while speaking at a policy monitoring dialogue hosted by Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja during the week.