N10trn to service debts dangerous!

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*Peter Obi cries out, says it’s dangerous to service “unproductive” debts with N10trn

*Decries Nigeria’s rising debt profile which stands at N97.3trn

*Regrets that most of the monies borrowed were not deployed for production

*Appeals to FG to stop borrowing, evaluate what was achieved with previous loans

By Lanre Oloyede

Main opposition voice and the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi has screamed again at the nation’s rising debt profile saying that N97.3 trillion is on the high side and worrisome.

According to the former Anambra state Governor, even more disturbing is the fact that most of these debts are not deployed for production.

Obi described as dangerous to growth, the use of nearly N10 trillion to service unproductive debts.

Explaining further his fears, Obi wrote in his X handle on Tuesday saying “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.

“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 on what we did with the huge debt, especially the over N30 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 that will benefit the nation.

“Even more worrisome is 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 profile, which has now taken our debts to N97.3 trillion, again, without any corresponding visible and verifiable utilization of such debts, to the best of my knowledge, it is the highest ever borrowed in one quarter.

“Last year, 2023, our total debt servicing for domestic debts stood at N4.4 trillion and that of external debt servicing was $3.5 billion, which is about N4.9 trillion. In effect, approximately N10 trillion is now set aside to service 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).

“My appeal to the government of our nation is to please de-accelerate the borrowing, and let us first re-evaluate to see what has been achieved with our previous loans so far and be able to make better decisions for the good of the nation.

“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”, he added.