President Bola Tinubu’s recent claim that he inherited a bankrupt economy from his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, raises more questions than it answers for the average Nigerian who struggles to survive in the shameful paradox of avoidable poverty in the midst of abundant natural resources.
“I inherited serious liabilities and also assets,” Tinubu said. Vice President Kashim Shettima acknowledged, “We are facing challenges,” to support this stance.
“Yes, we have financial limitations,” Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the national security adviser, stated. It’s critical that you understand the dire circumstances we have inherited—we are essentially a bankrupt nation with no resources, and we have to repay all of the money that has been taken from us. It’s not laughing!
Therefore, Nigerians should be fully informed about the specifics of the inherited responsibilities and assets in order to maintain transparency and prevent accusations of buck-passing. This essentially amounts to criticizing Buhari and bringing to light the true events of his eight disgraceful years, which left the people in worse shape than when he found them.
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The publically available economic data regarding the Buhari administration is horrifying. For example, Nigeria saw the lowest level of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under the Buhari administration, declining from $2.2 billion in 2014 to $0.47 billion in 2022. Between 2016 and 2023, the budget deficit increased by 370.54 percent. Given that the public debt increased tenfold in just ten years, the expense of debt servicing exceeded public income! Domestic debt increased by 7,029 percent and external debt by 473% during this time. It is claimed that the high inflation rates, which were estimated to be 22.41 percent in May 2023, were caused by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) imprudent lending to the federal government.
Nigeria’s overall public debt increased by 75.29 percent to N87.38 trillion in the second quarter (Q2) of 2023 from N49.85 trillion at the end of the first quarter (Q1), according to the Debt Management Office (DMO). DMO credited the increase to the N22.71 trillion Ways and Means advances that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) provided to the federal government.