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Debt crisis: Afe Babalola advises FG to raise liquidation committee

By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado-Ekiti
21 October 2022   |   5:02 am
Founder of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Ado-Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has advised the Federal Government to establish a Special Debt Liquidating Fund for all patriotic Nigerians

Afe Babalola

Nigeria exhibiting indices of a failed state, Ozekhome warns

Founder of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Ado-Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has advised the Federal Government to establish a Special Debt Liquidating Fund for all patriotic Nigerians to offset the nation’s liabilities.

According to Babalola, the committee should be headed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and should consist of Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), Bishop Matthew Kukah, presidents of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), students union and members of a professional association like NBA, NMA, NUJ, NSE, COREN, MDCN, among others

The legal icon, which spoke yesterday at the 10th convocation lecture of the University, recommended that those on the list of the 21 richest men in Nigeria (Forbes 2022) should pay a minimum of $500 million each as part of debt liquidation.

The proprietor, while lamenting the nation’s debt profile put at N41.60 trillion as at March 2022 and domestic debt of N5.24 trillion as of June, Badalona added that all erstwhile Presidents, Vice Presidents, Senate Presidents, House of Representatives Speakers and ministers should also pay N500 million each in five instalments.

He suggested that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and others who paid N100 million for nomination forms should pay $50 million per person due to their buoyancy.

His words: I recommend that those on the list of 21 richest men in Nigeria (Forbes 2022) should pay a minimum of $500 million. After all, we have 21 richest men in Nigeria (Forbes 2022), 10 richest men in Africa (Forbes 2022) and 10 richest men in the world (Forbes 2022).

“All those who paid N100 million for presidential nomination forms in 2022 should pay $50 million because they have the money. All those who are contesting the election should pay N500 million. All private jet owners in Nigeria should pay N500 million because they have the money.”

“All oil well owners should pay N500 million. All private university owners should pay N500 million, all private church owners should pay N500 million. All private hospital owners should pay N250 million and all offshore account owners should pay $500million.

He went on: “All private airliners and ship owners are to pay N500 million, while professional associations should pay N500 million.

“I honestly believe that if President Buhari and his government can lend weight to this proposition, Nigeria will be able to pay all or a reasonable part of the debt which is our problem today. Government will be able to attend to ASUU and other problems. The solution by our lecturers of today can only be attended to if the debt burden is resolved.”

Obasanjo, on his part, has decried the nation’s deplorable road network, saying it was a disservice to businesses.

In his lecture titled: “Place of Education In A Crisis -Ridden Nigeria,” renowned lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said the country is already displaying all indices of a failed state.

He said: “We have got to a terrifying situation where armed bandits and kidnappers now hoist flags on Nigerian soil, collect taxes from Nigerians and give them identity cards and passes. They challenge Nigeria’s sovereignty. Some hold school children hostage and demand from their parents, bags of salt, rice, maize, millet, beans baskets of tomatoes, pepper, tatashe and miango hot pepper.

“They also demand for jerry cans of palm oil, vegetable oil, Maggie cubes, ugba and other condiments. These are necessary to feed the children of traumatised Nigerians held firmly in their gulag, to keep them alive for payment of enforced ransom.

“Herdsmen invade homes and farms freely. They kill, maim, rape and pillage. The government appears helpless. When non-state actors are more powerful than the state actors, when we keep on borrowing endlessly, if these are not symptomatic of a failed state, then tell me what a failed state is.”

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