Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has criticized the way the Central Government is taking loans. The ex-president said borrowing for recurrent expenditure is ‘foolish’.
In an interview on Channels television, Obasanjo said that borrowing and accumulating debt for the next generations to come is criminal.
He said, “If you want to build a commercial house and you go and borrow money, and you have 50 per cent of your own money and you borrow 50 per cent and in five years, you pay the 50 per cent that you borrowed. That is a wise thing to do. But if you have to go and borrow money for you to be able to feed yourself and your family, that is a stupid thing to do.
“So, if we are borrowing for recurrent expenditure, it is the height of foolery. If we are borrowing for development that can pay itself, that is understandable; then how long will it pay itself? But we are borrowing and accumulating debt for the next generation and the next generation after them, it is criminal, to put it mildly. What are we borrowing for?
“When I came into government and was elected President, we were spending $3.5bn to service debt, and even with that, our quantum of debt was not going down.”
The administration of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has borrowed a total of N21tn within six years.
Data from the Debt Management Office showed that at the end of March 2021, Nigeria’s public debt hit a total of N33.12tn, which means in the last six years under the President, the country’s debt rose by N21tn.
As of the end of June 2015, one month after the present regime came into power, the country’s debt profile stood at N12.12tn.
It also means that the country’s debt profile has risen by 173.27 per cent within the six-year period.
Nigeria’s total public debt stock includes the debt stock of the Federal Government, the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
However, most of the debts were contracted by the Federal Government.