“As a result of our inability to cultivate financial discipline and prudent management of the economy, we have come to depend largely on internal and external borrowing to execute government projects with attendant domestic pressure and soaring external debts, thus aggravating the propensity of the outgoing civilian administration to mismanage our financial resources.”
History always repeat itself exactly 36 years after than Major General and now President Buhari justified the coup against late Shehu Shagari government. More than times in the history of Nigeria our dear country became a debtor and bagger nation relying on loans to execute infrastructural projects.
When President Buhari came onboard Nigerians hopeful the administration would diversifying the nation’s economy let Mr president and his administration remembered that before 2015 elections APC’s promised to grow the national economy include reduction of power supply deficit and dependence on imports of petroleum products; provision of a country-wide multi-modal transportation network that integrates the economy using roads, railways, air transport, inland waterways, and seaports with modern equipment and services; implementation of a National Industrial Policy that grows the domestic economy, increases the stock of locally made products, keeps the people in paid jobs, reduces our trade deficits, and strengthens the value of the naira.
The administration vows to strengthen agriculture in order to provide food security, as an instrument for national security, industrialization, and job creation and provide a guaranteed market for agricultural produce at a competitive market commodity exchange linked prices. Despite the government has consistently assured that it is working hard to grow the nation’s economy each passing days Nigerians seeing raised ever escalating Nigeria debt profile as scary economic situation throws up some salient questions, all begging for answers. Nigeria is using 50% of its revenue to service its debts! this is unsustainable. This is just part of an economic malaise that has consigned millions of Nigerians to “Multidimensional Poverty” even as a few ones continue to enjoy the nation’s wealth.
But unfortunately both these promises are not achieved the administration has no clear-cut policy initiative to stem the nation external and internal debt, high level of inflation and falling value of the naira against the United States dollar.
Every concerns Nigerians have complained about PMB’s administration penchant for debts believing that it could put the future of Nigerians in jeopardy. Nigeria’s rising debt profile is fast becoming a worrisome trend. Debt servicing gulps N7.04 trillion under President Buhari’s administration. The government claims, it had no choice, seeing its oil revenues fail to meet up with target and thus unable to fund Nigeria’s huge infrastructural deficit required to propel economic growth.
Most of these debts were borrowed in the. 5 years of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration via multilateral, development, bilateral and commercial loans (Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds).
On the eve to mark one year in office of PMB administration of second term Nigerians were cough unaware with another efforts to continue jeopardy Nigerians and unborn one future. President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the Senate and the House of Representatives, seeking approval for a fresh loan of $5.513 billion. The request comes weeks after the National Assembly approved a loan of N850bn. Already last year, Senate approved another $22.79bn loan which is currently pending before the House. Even though the loan was to finance the 2020 budget deficit, financing of critical projects, and supporting some states of the federation. Is this necessary for the government. Government and its Supporters believe the borrowing was necessary to invest in critical sectors of the economy particularly infrastructure.
Why the country continue became a debtor and bagger nation is simple failure of our leader over dependence on one major government revenue source the country will remain remains weak and fragile, being outstripped by population growth. With the outbreak of the Covid 19 which has puts global economics in uncertainty Nigeria’s economy is being caught in the cross-hairs.
Let Mr president and leadership of Nigeria’s National Assembly understand that One’s current concern is who will pay these huge debts? Will the burden to be left by the reckless and frivolous political class not be too weighty for the lean shoulders of our weak economy ? Will Nigerians not be turned to slaves and beggars in their own country by the creditor nations, just because they want to pay off the debts left by the locusts that have ravaged our common patrimony? But that is not all. What is the guarantee that the administrations and the subsequent ones would have the capacity to repay without harming the security and welfare of the citizens which are primary reasons for being in government? History will judges our executive leaders and legislative arm of government for compromising its responsibilities in checkmating this reckless loans spree by the government. Both executive and legislative will be held responsible toward jeopardy Nigerians and unborn one future. This reckless loans spree by the government clearly demonstrated they gross insensitivity citizens.
Nigeria will continues to struggle to revive the economy amidst dwindling oil revenues compounded by unemployment, poverty and insecurity unless Nigeria’s resources of revenue change toward provocative policy of the government change toward tapping the nation mineral resources as the country is blessed with untapped mineral resources.
Dukawa writes from Kano and can be reached at: