Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has called on the Federal Government to halt the nation’s descent into another era of unsustainable domestic and foreign borrowings which he said has become the hallmark of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Atiku, the Presidential Candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general election, frowned at a situation where the Buhari administration doubled the nation’s debt profile in a spate of four years.
His criticism came on the heels of the country’s rising debt statistics released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) yesterday which rose to N24.947 trillion ($ 81.274 billion), as at first quarter of this year, representing a 2.3 per cent increase from N24.387 trillion recorded as at December 31, 2018.
“We find it inconceivable that Nigeria could have had such unprecedented borrowings in the midst of almost unimaginable sorrowing, which resulted in our nation becoming the world headquarters of extreme poverty and the global capital of out-of-school children, even as we slipped in the Corruption Perception Index ofTransparency International”, Atiku said in a statement by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe.
Atiku lamented that the increasing debt profile is becoming more than a source of concern to all those who have the love of the country at heart.
“The situation is now at the stage where all genuine lovers of Nigeria ought to raise the alarm.
On May 29, 2015, our national debt profile was at a very healthy N12 trillion. However, after four years of profligate spending, and even more irresponsible borrowing, our national debt doubled to N24.3 trillion by December, 2018.
“As alarming as this is, what is more troubling is that between December 2018 and March 2019, the administration of President Buhari added an additional and unprecedented N560 billion debt to our national debt profile.
“What could this junta have needed that amount for? If you take those dates into account, they fall on the period of electioneering, when monies were freely distributed by officials of this government in the name of Tradermoni and other election gimmicks that were discontinued after the election.
“As someone who headed the National Economic Council that paid off Nigeria’s entire debt under the visionary leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo, Atiku Abubakar has the moral authority to call those who are turning Nigeria into a beggar nation to halt the drift into unsustainable borrowing.
“We cannot continue to borrow to pay salaries and support luxuries. Already, over 50 per cent of our revenue is going towards debt servicing, not even debt repayments. We raise this alarm as responsible citizens and call on other lovers of Nigeria to speak up as we have no other nation to call our home, but Nigeria,” Atiku added.