Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that if the country continues to borrow to finance her expenditure, it can be seen as the height of foolery.
The former president said this in reaction to President Buhari’s request for the approval of the National Assembly to borrow $4,054,476,863 and €710 million.
This request comes only days after the country’s debt rate was recorded as increased.
While speaking to Channels Television in South Africa, Obasanjo said it is criminal to accumulate debt for the next generation to pay.
He however, added that borrowing on its own is not the problem, but that measures should be put in place to make sure that the borrowed funds are actually being utilized for infrastructural development.
“If you want to build a commercial house and you go and borrow money, and you have 50 per cent of your own money and you borrow 50 per cent and in five years, you pay the 50 per cent that you borrowed. That is a wise thing to do. But if you have to go and borrow money for you to be able to feed yourself and your family, that is a stupid thing to do.
“So, if we are borrowing for recurrent expenditure, it is the height of foolery. If we are borrowing for development that can pay itself, that is understandable; then how long will it pay itself? But we are borrowing and accumulating debt for the next generation and the next generation after them, it is criminal, to put it mildly. What are we borrowing for?
“When I came into government and was elected President, we were spending $3.5bn to service debt, and even with that, our quantum of debt was not going down.”
Source: Linda Ikeji
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