$22.7bn loan: “The more we borrow, the worse our economy” – Peter Obi

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Former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi has condemned the Federal Government’s plan to borrow $22.7 billion from external sources.

Although the Buhari administration said it needed the loan to fund critical infrastructure projects under the 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing Plan, Obi noted that the nation has nothing to show for previous loans dating back to 2008, adding that the “more we borrow, the worse our economy”.

The Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election stated this while appearing on a live television programme on Thursday.

He accused the present administration of borrowing recklessly for consumption with no well-defined plans to spend the loans to generate income.

Obi explained, “Everybody knows my stand on borrowing. I am against reckless borrowing and borrowing for consumption. If you must borrow, you must be able to prove the business case of the borrowing convincingly, otherwise, you are mortgaging the future.

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“All the funds that have been borrowed for long in the country have not impacted positively on the growth of Nigeria’s economy, meaning that they were reckless and intended for consumption.

“Even using Kenya and Ghana in Africa, for example, both are borrowing like us. But the difference is, in 2010, Ghana’s GDP was 32 billion US Dollars, with per-capita of $1320, in 2019 its GDP had grown to $64.5 billion, with per-capita of $2200. “In 2010, when we started…all these borrowings, our per capita was 2,300. Today, it is 1,920. So, something is missing. The more we borrow, the worse our economy, which means we are not investing this money.

“We have borrowed in Nigeria, call it from 2008 till date, we’ve been able to borrow, where our debt has now increased to almost a $100bn. What can we show for all these debt?

“No country borrows a quarter of its GDP without showing tangible investments or projects into which the borrowed funds would be deployed.”

 

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