…Says Nigerians will be proud to use passports again
Labor Party presidential candidate Peter Obi has said that all the money borrowed since 2015 to improve the national economy was wasted.
The LP presidential candidate made this claim while speaking at Chatham House in London on Monday.
Obi, while discussing the country’s growing debt, said that Nigeria had successfully increased debt from N15tn as of 2015 to N75tn today, adding that the sharp rise in debt was due to consumer lending, and claimed that all the money was “thrown away”. .”
While stating that borrowing is essential for any economy to prosper, Obi reiterated that borrowed money must be used for developing the economy and invested in production.
“There is nothing wrong with borrowing. Borrowing is legitimate and every government I have studied in the world borrows, even Britain, as we speak, owes 70 per cent of its GDP. All the governments I know of live on loans.
“Norway, with sovereign wealth of $1.4 trillion, is in debt. The world’s economies, including the world’s largest economy, the United States, owe almost 100 percent of their GDP. The second largest economy, China, owes nearly 70 percent, while Japan owes more than 230 percent of its GDP. But let me tell you the difference.
“Japan owes 230 percent of its GDP, but it invested the money to save its economy and even with that, Japan is still the biggest holder of US Treasuries, so there is something they can appeal. So borrowing is not bad.
“But what has happened is that when you borrow for consumption, you have a crisis. Nigeria in 2015 had a per capita income of $2500, we owed around N15tn. Today, with the methods and means of the central bank, we owe around N75tn, so we have increased that debt profile by more than 400 percent. That means the money we borrowed was wasted.”
Obi further stated that, if elected, he would fight corruption to ensure that Nigeria becomes a country where its citizens are proud to have their passports and foreign investment thrives.
“We will fight and stop the corruption. The first thing to stop corruption is yourself, if you are not involved, your wife, your family is not involved, those around you are not involved, then you will lose more than 50 percent. We are committed, we cannot let these young people down, we must build a new Nigeria.
“Investors will return, those who left will return and those who leave, we want to bring them back. Nigerians are prepared to return if they find they also have a country to return to. This green passport, Nigerians should be proud to use it again,” he said.
the punch reported in November 2022 that the LP presidential candidate declared for the first time that borrowing must be channeled strictly towards production, while explaining his theory of consumption to production.
He also said then that federal consumer debt must cease and be channeled towards regenerative projects.
the punch reports that Nigeria’s public debt burden may reach N77tn if the National Assembly approves the request of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), to restructure the advances of ways and means.
The Ways and Means Advances is a lending service through which the Central Bank of Nigeria finances deficits in the government budget.
The Director General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, revealed this during the public presentation of the 2023 budget hosted by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed.