$30 billion debt: Buhari's advisers are taking advantage of his ignorance — Obasanjo

Former president Obasanjo said Buhari's ignorance will sink the country.

Friday, December 27, 2019

/ by National Pivot

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed fears over where President Muhammadu Buhari is taking the country by subjecting into more debts. He said those advising the president into seeking more debts are the enemies of the country.

Nigeria's external debt profile has grown by $14.6 billion between 2015 and March 2019, yet the Buhari administration wants to borrow $30 billion more, which would push the debt to over $44 billion. This according to Obasanjo, is very alarming, and would spell doom for the country.

The former president who made this known in a speech at an event, titled ‘why I am alive campaign’ organised by Nigerian pastor, Itua Ighodalo, in Lagos on Friday, December 27, said, “The issue of Nigeria rapidly sinking under the weight of debt; both foreign and domestic, should bother us all.

“Everyone knows that our governments are notoriously deficient in serious and adequate discipline and most often lack competence and consistency as well," he said.

Concerning the current huge debt burden on Nigeria, Obasanjo said the current situation could be likened to heading for bankruptcy.

"To service this current level of indebtedness, we must commit at least 50% of our foreign earnings!! Such a situation talks about an impending bankruptcy. No entity can survive while devoting 50% of its revenue to debt servicing. It has recently been pointed out that in 2018 that total debt service cost took over 60% of government revenue.

"What is more we are not doing enough to address the fundamental, deep-seated and structural challenges that inhibit the expansion of our economy. As if this is not bad enough, we are currently seeking to add another $29.6 billion loan to our already overburdened debt portfolio.

"Our current budget out of which we are spending 25% to service debt is not our total earning; a lot of it is also borrowing. Simply put, we are borrowing to service what we have borrowed and yet we are borrowing more.

"I do not need the brain of any genius to conclude that those who use statistics to dig us deeper into debt are our enemies. Statistics can be used to serve any purpose and that is why Winston Churchill talked of 'lies, damn lies and statistics' meaning statistics can be made master of lies."

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