By Idowu Abdullahi,
Worried about the increase in Nigeria’s debt profile, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to look inward by cutting the cost of governance and diversify the nation’s economy in dealing with the nation’s challenges rather than borrowing.
It explained that the administration’s continuous borrowing at every giving opportunity which is at the detriment of the country and her future generations had necessitated the call, adding that the resort to external borrowing is not healthy for the nation.
CNPP Secretary-General, Willy Ezugwu, said it is worrisome that the government will be spending N2.452trn or 29 percent out of its N8.42trn set as revenue target in 2020 to service debts, noting that the situation was a result of the APC-led government incompetence in managing the country.
Ezugwu, through a statement released to newsmen on Monday, said the umbrella body of all registered political parties and associations in Nigeria was shocked that the same administration that has been getting trenches of Abacha loots returned to the country’s purse still decided to seek a fresh $5.513 billion (N2.1 trillion) loan, after an earlier loan of $22.79 billion (N8.5trillion) this same year.
He noted that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), had in April 2020 also approved $3.4 billion in emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument to Nigeria, saying it is incumbent on the administration to show responsibility by improving on accountability and transparency level in the face of increasing Nigeria’s debt profile.
The CNPP, therefore, urged the Buhari administration to look inwards, reduce the cost of governance, and explore other options, including harnessing non-oil revenues instead of increasing the country’s debt burdens.
“While there is no country that is not borrowing, when a country continues to borrow in the face of rapidly dwindling oil revenue, which is the only major source of income to the country, the future of Nigerians yet unborn will eventually be squandered by our generation.
“It is about time Nigeria stopped paying lip service to develop non-oil sectors of the economy in an effort to improve revenue earning.
“How can anyone explain the fact that in many parts of the country, foreigners are harvesting Nigeria’s solid minerals free of charge while the federal government has continued to borrow to fund the 2020 budget?
“We urge President Buhari administration to immediately cut the cost of governance, empower farmers by providing security and incentives that would encourage young people to go back to farming, and block loss of other non-oil revenue”, the statement read.