Obasanjo hits at Buhari, says rising debt from borrowing is ‘criminal’


By Salim Yunusa

Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has berated President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration over its continued accumulation of debt through borrowing, noting that piling up debt for future generations is foolish and criminal.



Obasanjo who spoke in a video shared by a television programme on Sunday night, said it’s the height of folly to borrow to fund recurrent expenditure.


The former president’s remarks came in the wake of President Buhari’s request to the National Assembly for a fresh $4 billion loan.


“If we are borrowing for recurrent expenditure it is the height of folly. If you are borrowing for development that can pay itself, of course, that is understandable. Then paying itself, how long will it take to pay itself”, Obasanjo said.


“But if you are borrowing and you are accumulating debt for the next generation and the generation after them, it is criminal, to put it mildly.”, he added.


Obasanjo’s administration is lauded for clearing Nigeria’s foreign debt. He wondered what the Buhari government is borrowing for. “What are we borrowing for? When I came in as an elected President we were spending $3.5 billion to service debt and even with that our quantum of debt was not going down,” Obasanjo queried.


It can be recalled that in April, the Senate approved $1.5 billion and €995 million external borrowings which were part of the $5.5 billion and €995 million external borrowings sought for by the president in May last year to finance the country’s budget.


Presently, Nigeria’s domestic and foreign debt profile stands at N35.47 trillion, according to the latest figures from the Debt Management Office, (DMO).

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