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Nigeria In Financial Crisis: I Warn That We Are…On Verge Of Economic Doom, Robbing Our Children to Pay for Our Greed – Atiku

by on June 16, 2020
 

Not only have we squandered our opportunities, we have also squandered the opportunities of our future generations by bequeathing them a debt that they neither incurred nor enjoyed”– A.A

“As a matter of utmost urgency and importance, I call on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to drastically reduce its expenditure, especially on wasteful projects, such as maintenance of the Presidential Air Fleet, and unnecessary renovations of buildings that could serve as is, limousine fleet for top government officials, overseas travels and treatments, and the ₦4.6billion Presidential villa maintenance budget, etc”– A.A

” We cannot be on the verge of economic ruin, while still maintaining a Presidential Air Fleet that has more planes than the Presidential fleets of those from whom we take these loans”– A.A

“Nigeria must sell those planes and channel the revenue to other vital areas of need while taking additional steps to reduce the cost of running our government”– A.A

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Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has today maintained the need for immediate action concerning the transparency and reallocation of the Nigerian budget.

The former presidential candidate revealed his shock at the revelation from Nigeria’s First Quarter 2020 financial reports in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

This report shows, alarmingly, that whereas Nigeria spent a total sum of ₦943.12 billion in debt servicing, the Federal Government’s retained revenue for the same period was only ₦950.56 billion. This means that Nigeria’s debt to revenue ratio is now 99%.

“No one should be deceived. This is a crisis! Debt servicing does not equate to debt repayment. The reality is that Nigeria is paying only the minimum payment to cover our interest charges. The principal remains untouched and is possibly growing”, Atiku emphasized in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

The Former VP reiterated that Nigeria is on a precipice. According to him, if our revenue figures do not go up quickly, Nigeria risks a situation where our revenue can’t sustain our debt servicing obligations. Meaning that the country may become insolvent, and our creditors may foreclose on us.

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Further expressing his concern at the state of affairs in the Nation, Atiku said:

“In my opinion editorial of December 17 2019, titled ‘Endless Borrowing Will Lead Nigeria to Endless Sorrowing’, I had cause to counsel the Federal Government to desist from indiscriminate lending, and offered suggestions on ways to both increase revenue and reduce expenditure”.

“However, my counsel fell on deaf ears. And now we have come to this.
Again, on May 15, 2020, I counselled that the FG ought to reduce Nigeria’s budget by at least 25%, to reflect the economic realities of the times that we live in. Again, my entreaties were brushed aside”.

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“As part of an administration that paid off Nigeria’s entire foreign debt, I am concerned by the alarming and avoidable unprecedented increase in our debt to GDP ratio and debt to revenue ratio. The alarm I sounded last year is now sounding louder”.

“The Federal Government cannot continue to justify these unsustainable numbers by pointing at Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio”.

“That is only half the picture. Our debt to revenue ratio paints a much more realistic portrait of our financial situation, especially as our revenues are majorly tied to a mono-product, oil and gas, which are very vulnerable to global shocks”.

“Again, I warn that Nigeria is facing a crisis, and we cannot continue to keep up appearances by taking out more loans to prop up our economy. That will amount not just to robbing Peter to pay Paul, but to robbing our children to pay for our greed!” -AA

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