THE DEBT Management Office(DMO) has revealed the rising debt profile of beloved Nigeria, at N25.7 trillion (or $84bn) amidst the uproar by Nigerians, following President Mohammadu Buhari’s request to the National Assembly for the permission to borrow the sum of US$30billion.
SINCE coming to office in 2015, the PMB government inherited a debt profile of N12trillion, but two years later, by June 2018, the total public debt had almost doubled to N22.4 trillion (US$80 billion); as of March 31st,2019, the debt had risen to N25 trillion; and as at June 30th,2019, the total public debt hits N25.7 trillion.
IT would be recalled that Nigeria, less than two decades ago, secured far reaching debt forgiveness. The President Obasanjo government made spirited efforts and cleared the remaining old debt that had dragged on since the late 1980s. And now, under an ‘anti-corruption’ regime of PMB, who despite the humongous wealth recovered from the looters, has elected, by setting his face to throw the very country he claimed to rescue from corrupt politicians, into another round of slavery.
THE reasons advanced for seeking the loan, are to execute government projects. According to the President, it is for the plan to address issues that the current earnings from the crude oil cannot address. This request by Mr. President, was however rejected three years ago, by the 8th Assembly, who acted in the interests of those that voted them into office. But today, it has resurfaced again like its counterparts, the social media/hate speech thing
THE problem with the Nigerian ruling elite is its lackadaisical attitude toward people oriented development, and for penchant for easy money, corruption. Big money means big looting. In short the disequilibrium between the nation’s debt profile and her development has remained a serious thing of concern. This, in essence, is the worry of most Nigerians and why they are out rightly against PMB’S $30 billion foreign loan. More so, it is common knowledge that the country’s economic growth is often seriously undermined by huge debt, apart from sheer profligacy in running government.
THERE is no doubt that collecting such a loan will make Nigerians poorer, bring inflation, and subject the country to a spade of external control and painful socioeconomic conditionality, like those of IMF. Already, Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in their report revealed that Nigerian youth unemployment has increased by 23%; while the World Poverty Clock index, said the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty, increased to 97million.
THE question Nigerians have to answer is, who will pay these huge debts? Will the shoulders of our mostly jobless children be strong to carry such weight? Why should a leadership which claims to be democratic deploy measures that are anti-democratic? Why should our leaders be so callous as the King who, after he was toldthat his punishment will be transferred to his next generation, and he gladly accepted it; claiming that at least it will not be in his own time?
WE believe that this request will be one of the litmus test for the so called 9th Assembly. Whether theirs will go down in history as a yes-men lawmakers or those who abdicate their constitutional responsibility by sending future generations into slavery or not! IMF had three or so years back, said that Nigeria has no business going for any foreign loan.