By Bukola Olasanmi
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, has raised the alarm on over the nation’s N25.6trn debt, saying it’s unsustainable.
Atiku said the increasing debt profile of the country is becoming more than a source of concern, adding that the situation has got to a stage where all genuine lovers of Nigeria ought to raise an alarm.
Atiku, in a statement Wednesday by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, recalled that the nation’s debt profile as of May 29, 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari took over, was ₦12 trillion.
“However, after four years of profligate spending, and even more irresponsible borrowing, our national debt doubled to ₦24.3 trillion by December, 2018.
“As alarming as this is, what is more troubling is that between December 2018 and March 2019, the administration of General Buhari added an additional and unprecedented ₦560 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”, Atiku added.
The one time Vice President said it’s inconceivable that Nigeria could have had such unprecedented borrowings in the midst of almost unimaginable sorrowing.
This, he observed, has resulted in the country becoming the world headquarters for extreme poverty and the global capital of out of school children, noting further that Nigeria has slipped in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International.
Continuing, Atiku said, “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% 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”