Obasanjo denounces the increase in Nigeria’s debt and the weakness of FDI
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo expressed concern about the way states and the federal government are accumulating debts as well as the low level of foreign direct investment in the country.
Obasanjo spoke on Thursday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, when he welcomed some members of the National Working Committee of the People’s Democratic Party, headed by its president, Prince Uche Secondus, to the Olusegun Presidential Library Obasanjo.
During the meeting, Obasanjo reportedly expressed his concern about the way the country had accumulated debts by borrowing money all over the world.
During his tenure, the former president visited the country’s creditors and was able to secure debt relief for the country.
However, since taking office six years ago, the regime of President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired) had accumulated debts for the country.
Surveys by The PUNCH in May indicated that the country’s debt increased by N20.8 billion between July 2015 and December 2020, according to data obtained from the Debt Management Office. The period falls under the Buhari regime, which began on May 29, 2015.
Statistics obtained from the DMO showed that Nigeria’s total debt as of June 30, 2015 was N12.12 billion.
However, as of December 31, 2020, the country’s debt portfolio had grown to 32.92 billion naira.
This shows that in 66 months (five and a half years), the country’s debt increased by 20.8 billion naira. It also means that during the period, the country’s debt portfolio increased by 171.62%.
Most of the country’s debt has been contracted by the federal government. Of the total debt of N32.92tn, the federal government has a total of N26.91tn, leaving a balance of N6.01tn to subnational governments, primarily the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory administration.
The implication of this is that 83.78 percent of the country’s outstanding debt is owned by the federal government, with the subnational government accounting for 16.22 percent.
Further analysis shows that domestic sources accounted for 20.21 N tonnes while external sources accounted for 12.71 N tonnes.
Sources at the meeting the former president had with PDP leaders said Obasanjo was disheartened by the unbridled way the current leaders of the country and states were borrowing to fund budgets or even pay salaries.
One of the sources said the former president informed his guests that while he was in office the governors always informed him of how much they had been able to attract FDI to their states.
The source said: “The former president told us that every nation must find funds within to finance projects and be able to attract FDI there.
“For example,” he said at the time, “he was always happy when the governors called him to tell him they had about $ 100 million in FDI. He would be happy. But now all the money he also left in foreign accounts has been taken.
“He said all he hears about now is debts and loans. He insisted that the country must produce leaders who will know how to turn the economy around and also attract foreign investors. The former president is very passionate about the country and it is very surprising.
Naira now useless, according to ex-minister
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Information and National Guidance, Professor Jerry Gana, said the naira is fast becoming the “most useless currency” in Africa today.
PDP board member Gana spoke on Saturday in Abuja at the party critical stakeholder retreat organized by the Kogi PDP Renaissance Group.
Delivering a keynote address on “Kogi PDP: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, the former minister listed things the party must do to return to power.
He said the party needed a good strategy; organization; presence at the base; free, fair and credible primaries; justice, equity and equity; Resources; and logistics in order to dislodge the All Progressives Congress in 2023.
Gana lamented that the current level of economic distress, which he said was the worst in recent times, had made Nigerians the most miserable people on the planet.
He said: “Nigeria’s poverty index is the worst in Africa. The level of debt in recent years is such that every Nigerian is now in debt. The naira is perhaps one of the most unnecessary currencies in Africa today. I have never seen this level of corruption like we have today.
“In fact, the level of corruption makes PDP governments look like angels because corruption is now a thousand times worse. “
In the past, the former minister has portrayed the importance of Kogi State in Nigeria’s pre- and post-colonial political development.
Gana denounced the insecurity in the country, saying: “Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State recently called for everyone in Katsina State to carry a gun. Do you know where Katsina is? Do you know who is from Katsina?
He called on Katsina PDP to seize the opportunity to deliver Nigeria, urging her to reject those he described as division agents and unite for the sake of the party.
Gana said: “You have the best chance of taking power in Kogi. Kogi is very central because every part of Nigeria goes through Kogi. Whoever runs Kogi cannot lie because if you do something people will see it. and will know it.
“If you don’t do anything, people will know. We have the people and the resources, so Kogi has no excuse for not being great.
Former Senate Speaker Bukola Saraki, who also spoke at the event, reiterated the need for PDP leaders and members to unite to return to power and give Nigeria a new sense of purpose. ‘orientation.
He described the retreat as an indicator of the PDP’s readiness to bring order not only to Kogi, but across Nigeria.
Saraki said, “Kogi has witnessed a change in fortunes since 2015, but I’m happy because today’s meeting sends a strong message to the PDP family across the country.
“We must not forget that our party, the PDP, is the owner of Kogi which was deprived of victory in the last election. So, we have to put aside our differences for the sake of the party.