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Nigeria’s debt:  “De-accelerate” borrowings, Peter Obi advises FG

…Laments no corresponding visible usage, investments on the nation

 

The former presidential candidate for the Labour Party, Peter Obi has lamented that there has been no corresponding visible usage or investments to show the impact of the nation’s borrowings on the nation as required by the law.

 

Obi who stated this in a statement via his verified X handle on Tuesday, advised the Federal Government to “de-accelerate” borrowing and described government borrowings as unproductive.

According to him, the last administration incurred huge debt especially with the N30 trillion ways and means from the central bank and could have ended the nation’s borrowings.

The former Anambra governor said, “I remain concerned about our borrowings, considering their galloping situation over the years, and its concomitant effects on the economy.

“More worrisome is the fact that there has been no corresponding visible usage or investments as required by the law, to show their impact on the nation.”

Obi noted that in 2023, Nigeria spent huge amounts totaling N10 trillion in servicing both domestic and external debt which he described as “unproductive debts”.

“The implication is that what we borrowed in a quarter about N10 trillion and what we spend on debt servicing, which is also about N10 trillion, are each more than the combined budgetary allocation for the four highest priority areas, which are; defence (N3.25trn), Education (N2.18trn), Health (1.33trn), and Infrastructure (N1.32trn),” he said.

Obi said the government should “de-accelerate” its borrowings while an assessment of what the previous loans have been used for should be looked into to stem the tide of increasing debt profile.

Obi’s reaction comes against the backdrop of the country’s debt profile released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) last week.

According to the DMO, Nigeria’s public debt increased by 10 percent hitting N97.3 trillion by the end of 2023.

The Office noted that the N97.3 trillion public debt comprises domestic debt of N59.12 trillion and external debt of N38.22 trillion.

 

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