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Atiku seeks rejection of borrowings over nation’s rising debt profile

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[FILE PHOTO] Presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has charged Nigerians of all hue and cry to reject the country’s alarmingly increasing debt profile, which the Debt Management Office (DMO) has put at over N24.947 trillion.

He described situation in which government continued to borrow money to pay for and support luxuries even when most Nigerians are in pains, sorrow and anguish, as unacceptable

Atiku in a statement titled: Sounding The Alarm Before Nigeria Collapses Under Unsustainable Debt, and released by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, noted that the nation’s increasing debt profile was becoming more than a mere source of concern.

“The situation has now reached the stage where all genuine lovers of Nigeria ought to raise an alarm against further borrowings,” he said.

Atiku who ran for president under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the just concluded presidential election recalled that, “On May 29, 2015, our national debt profile was at ₦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, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration added an an unprecedented ₦560 billion debt to our national debt profile.”

“What could this government 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 government officials in the name of Tradermoni and other election gimmicks that were discontinued after the election.”

Atiku lamented that it was inconceivable that Nigeria could have had such unprecedented borrowings in the midst of almost unimaginable sorrow, which resulted in Nigeria becoming the world headquarters for poverty and global capital of out of school children, even as the nation slipped in Transparency International (TI’s) Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

He noted that as someone who headed the National Economic Council (NEC) that paid off Nigeria’s entire debt under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government, he has the moral authority to call those who are turning Nigeria into a beggar nation to stop the drift into unsustainable borrowing.

“We cannot continue to borrow to pay salaries and support luxuries. Already, over 50 per cent of our revenue goes into 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,” he added.


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