Former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who is obviously still embittered by the gross miscarriage of justice against his petition challenging president Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the last presidential election, has come in full force against the Buhari administration over its insistence in borrowing $29.6 billion, and the Senate’s willingness to approve the President’s request.
Atiku who said he is still in disbelief that the Buhari administration is still pushing for the loan despite the dangers it poses for the future of the country, said its high time Nigerians begin to hold leaders accountable even those representing them in the Senate.
He said the problem with the Buhari administration is not even the borrowing, but the total lack of vision, capacity and good sense of judgment in its decision making. He added that under such an inept government, even $1 trillion won’t still be enough.
Below is the full statement of the former vice president as shared on his Facebook page;
John Quincy Adams once said “there are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” He may have very well been referring to Nigeria of the last three years.
Barely two weeks ago, I warned during my Founder’s Day lecture at the American University of Nigeria, Yola, that Nigeria had taken almost as much foreign debt in the last three years, as she had taken in the thirty years before 2015 combined. Now that is frightening. And very true.
Frightening, not just because of the amount, but because after such unprecedented borrowing, we have emerged as the world headquarters for extreme poverty and the global capital for out of school children. It begs the question: what were the funds used for?
I have said it time and again. The business of government is too serious to be left in the hands of politicians. We must all ask questions because if they throw away the future, it is not going to be their future they are throwing away, it will be all our futures.
The fact that Nigeria currently budgets more money for debt servicing (₦2.7 trillion), than we do on capital expenditure (₦2.4 trillion) is already an indicator that we have borrowed more money than we can afford to borrow. And the thing is that debt servicing is not debt repayment. Debt servicing just means that we are paying the barest minimum allowable by our creditors.
And while spending 50% of our current revenue on debt servicing, this administration wants to take further loans of $29.6 billion! To say that this is irresponsible is itself an understatement.