Obi Urges FG To De-accelerate Borrowing As Debts Servicing Hit N10trn

Mr. Peter Obi.

By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

Worried by the increasing amount of money spent on servicing unproductive debts in the country, Mr. Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 General Elections has called on the Federal Government to de-accelerate borrowing and re-evaluate what has been achieved with the previous borrowings.

Mr. Obi who gave the advice on Tuesday via his X handle, noted that the country spent N4.4trillion on servicing domestic debts and N4.9trillion ($3.5 billion) on servicing external debt in 2023, which means that the country spent approximately N10 trillion on servicing unproductive debts last year.

According to him, the implication is that what the country borrowed in a quarter was about N10 trillion, and what was spent on debt service, was also about N10 trillion. “Each of these is more than the combined budgetary allocation for the four highest priority areas: defence (N3.25trn), Education (N2.18trn), Health (1.33trn), and Infrastructure (N1.32trn)”, he said.

Mr. Obi argued that more worrisome was the fact that there has been no corresponding visible usage or investments as required by the law, to show their impact on the nation’s development.

Lamenting the nation’s debt burden, he said, “at the end of the second quarter, Q2, of 2023, our debt stood at N87.9 trillion, which was very disturbing to us, because we were at a loss as to what we did with the huge debt, especially the over N23 trillion ways and means borrowed by the last administration, which for me, would have been the end of borrowing without any visible and corresponding investment and benefit to the nation.

“But sadly and more worrisome is the fact that between the end of the third quarter, Q3, and the end of the fourth quarter, Q4, of 2023, about N10 trillion was added to our debt portfolio, which has now taken our debts to N97.3 trillion, again, without any corresponding visible and verifiable utilization. This is the highest ever borrowed in one quarter”, Obi lamented.

He, therefore, appealed to the government of President Bola Tinubu to de-accelerate the borrowing, re-evaluate what has been achieved with previous borrowings, and make better decisions for the good of the nation.

He assures that “in the New Nigeria of our dream, our scarce resources will not only be duly accounted for but will be productively and prudently managed in moving our nation from consumption to production”.

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