The Danger of Indiscriminate Borrowing: Nigeria in Focus

Nigerians are yet to grasp the importance or necessity of the $29.9billion dollar loan which the administration of Major General Buhari seeks to borrow. Indeed, according to statistics available to the Nigerian people,Nigeria has borrowed more money in this present administration than it has ever done in the past 3 administrations combined since the onset of the Fourth Republic.


It begs the question of where the loans are being funneled to considering the fact that Nigeria remains the world poverty capital with over 80 million Nigerians in extreme poverty and one of the highest index of out of school children with about 10.5 million children unable to access any kind of education in Nigeria. For the past 5 years, all this administration has done is to borrow more, spend more and invest less.
The current loan under consideration will be used to fund the Medium Term Expenditure Framework(MTEF) which in my view is highly unnecessary. Under this present administration, for the first time in Nigeria’s history, the amount of money being set aside for debt servicing is higher than that money set aside for capital expenditure which in other words means Nigeria is currently in deep mess. The next fiscal year budgets N2.7trillion for debt servicing and N2.4trillion for capital expenditure. Debt servicing of course does not mean that we are repaying the loans we’ve collected. This is the barest amount which we can pay to our creditors.


To further underscore the chronic irresponsibility of this government, we can remember sometime in 2018 when our government took delivery of $322 million Abacha loot and claimed to share it to Nigerians only to go cap in hand to the Chinese government the very next month to borrow $328 million for ICT development.
At this rate, Nigeria will most likely plunge into one of the worst financial crisis in few years from now if immediate steps are not taken to rectify this imbalance.
Just recently, Nigeria was downgraded below Ghana and Rwanda in terms of investor portfolio and development. Frightening.
Sometime during the campaigns, Atiku Abubakar suggested IPO as a means of generating more funds out of NNPC and getting more out of our stock markets and the propagandists scorned him saying that he wanted to use it to sell NNPC to his family members. Today, Saudi ARAMCO, the most profitable organization used the same IPO to generate $29.6 billion this month. The same amount of money which Major General Buhari is set to borrow. Sad.
Finally, if the government insists on borrowing, then it must justify it by providing blueprints showing highly profitable investments yielding excess profits which it seeks to embark on with the money.
Otherwise, the 5% will continue pocketing the money and leaving Nigerians worse than when they started.

 

STEVE SONNI

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