A presidential hopeful under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Peter Obi has expressed worries over the state of Nigeria’s economy.
Obi, who said he had visited about thirty-one countries in the world studying the problems bedeviling Nigeria, lamented that the Nigerian government has been borrowing for spending instead of investing.
He spoke in a consultative meeting with leadership of the PDP as well as the party delegates in Akwa Ibom.
He, however, expressed hope, saying the country would bounce back if the leaders can get things right.
“When you are going for the convention for those who will have the privilege, remember that you will not be delegates forever, but consider the future of your children and ask yourselves what society I want my children to live in,” he said.
Speaking further, the former governor said poor countries such as Bangladesh were able to wriggle themselves out of the quagmire by borrowing and investing in capital intensive projects and wondered why Nigeria cannot do the same but only borrow and consume.
He also lamented the rising debt profile of Nigeria, noting that though borrowing is not wrong but where the monies are channelled to. He said that the Nigerian government borrows without investing in capital intensive projects saying that only wealth creation can salvage the situation.
Obi said the country’s debt profile has risen from N3 trillion during former President Obasanjo’s regime to N58 trillion in the present administration, adding that a situation where Nigeria uses 90 per cent of her revenue to service debt alone indicates a major crisis for the country.
He said, “Nigeria is in a debt crisis, when you use 98 we cent of your revenue to service debt not to repay you are in a major crisis. In the first five months of last year, we earned one trillion, eight hundred and forty-seven billion and we used one trillion, eight hundred and two billion to service the loan, not repayment and we are not putting anything in the reserve. We are just in a monumental crisis, and we are borrowing more money, they will tell you that they borrow for capital projects.
“I’ve been going around asking people, to show me the capital projects. No capital vote is more important than power. We have borrowed over $100 billion dollars within this period, and we are still at 4000mw.
“This is the only country you hear of power generation, anywhere you go in the world, you just put power on and off. Vietnam has doubled their own from 38 to 76000MW, Egypt generates and distributes 55000MW but Nigeria, a giant of Africa, is struggling with 4000MW.
”I’ve not seen any country that does not borrow, what they do differently is when they borrow, they invest it so that people can live well but our own we borrow and consume and we must end it or it will consume all of us.”