Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has expressed shock that the Buhari administration in the first quarter of 2020, spent 99 percent of revenue to service debt.
“No one should be deceived. This is a crisis!”, Atiku said in a statement today.
“Debt servicing does not equate to debt repayment.
“The principal remains untouched and is possibly growing”.
The statement entitled “Nigeria In Financial Crisis: Robbing Our Children to Pay for Our Greed”, was signed by Atiku himself to underscore its significance.
The former vice-president was alarmed by what he called a shocking revelation in Nigeria’s first quarter 2020 financial report.
“Nothing has shocked me in my entire life in public service as 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, which 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 were only ₦950.56 billion.
This means that Nigeria’s debt to revenue ratio is now 99%.”
“We are at a precipice. If our revenue figures do not go up, and go up quickly, Nigeria risks a situation where our revenue cannot even sustain our debt servicing obligations. Meaning that we may become insolvent, and our creditors may foreclose on us, as has occurred in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
`’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 Federal Government 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.
“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.
“Not only have we squandered our opportunities, we have also squandered the opportunities of our future generations by bequeathing them debt th